The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANITA B. BRODY
Plaintiffs filed a four count complaint against their mortgage company, Associates Consumer Discount Company ("ACD"), and its branch manager, alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, as well as common law defamation. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In deciding this motion, I must determine:
2. Whether the defendant, which has as its primary business the issuance of home mortgages, is a "consumer reporting agency" subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I hold that it is not.
3. Whether the defendant, which has as its primary business the issuance of home mortgages, is a "debt collector" subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I hold that it is not.
4. Whether the Oldroyds' claim for defamation based on a statement allegedly made in July of 1992 is time-barred under the Pennsylvania one year statute of limitations for defamation claims. I hold that it is time-barred.
The plaintiffs, David and Sharon Oldroyd, obtained a fifteen year mortgage from the defendant, Associates Consumer Discount ("ACD"), on November 9, 1989, to refinance their existing thirty year home mortgage. The Oldroyds complain that they have been treated unfairly and illegally by ACD in several ways.
First, the Oldroyds allege that the agent they dealt with at ACD failed to make disclosures that they were entitled to receive under the federal Truth in Lending Act.
Secondly, the Oldroyds allege that in January 1992, after failing to make their mortgage payment for the month, they came to an agreement with Cordoza Jacks, Jr., a branch manager for ACD, in which ACD allegedly promised to "forgive" the January 1992 mortgage payment and recapture it at the end of the payment period. The Oldroyds believed that this agreement absolved them of any obligation to make the January mortgage payment. Nonetheless, when the Oldroyds obtained a credit report in June of 1992, the January payment was listed as delinquent.
Thirdly, the Oldroyds allege that in July of 1992 Jacks called the branch manager at "Commercial Credit Finance" or "Commercial Credit Corporation" and told that person that the Oldroyds were behind in their mortgage payments, causing that lender to reconsider giving the Oldroyds a second mortgage. The Oldroyds claim that Jacks knowingly and maliciously gave the lender false information.
Finally, the Oldroyds allege that in July of 1993, after ACD began a foreclosure action against them, their attorney sent a letter to ACD stating that ACD was not to contact the Oldroyds directly, but was to deal only with him. Despite this, Jacks called the Oldroyds and left a "threatening" message on their telephone answering machine.
Following a pretrial conference with counsel, I gave the parties twenty days to conduct discovery and submit memoranda and affidavits regarding whether ACD is a "consumer reporting agency" subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act or a "debt collector" subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and whether the complained-of communications dealt with matters exempt from liability under those acts. ACD subsequently submitted an affidavit executed by its Group Vice President, Scott Geary, in which he avers that:
1) ACD does not regularly engage in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information for the purpose of ...