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Muse v. Trans Union LLC

January 22, 2009

GARNET MUSE,
v.
TRANS UNION LLC,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ditter, J.

MEMORANDUM A N D ORDER

This case comes before me as a result of the defendant's credit reports about the plaintiff. The plaintiff contends that the reports were inaccurate, that her efforts to have them corrected were unavailing, and that as a result, she suffered financially and emotionally. The sole issue about the reports in question arise out of charges and credits to a gas credit card that was serviced by Citibank for BP/Amoco and Citibank's statements to the defendant about the status of the plaintiff's account.

A non-jury trial commenced on December 16, 2008. After the plaintiff's presentation of her case at trial, the defendant made an oral motion for judgment on partial findings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(c). Specifically, the defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to prove any inaccuracies on her credit report or show that she was entitled to any damages. Having carefully considered all of the evidence, I make the following:

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Trans Union is a "consumer reporting agency" as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. ("FCRA"). The plaintiff is a "consumer" as defined by the FCRA.

2. At all times relevant to this action, the plaintiff had, or previously had, a BP/Amoco gas credit card that was serviced by Citibank (South Dakota) N.A. Citibank furnished information about the gas card to Trans Union. Citibank is a "furnisher of information to consumer reporting agencies" under Section 1681s-2 of the FCRA.

3. According to the plaintiff's billing statements from Citibank for the gas card account, as of the September 2001 statement, the plaintiff had an outstanding balance of $6.84 and was informed that a payment of $6.84 was due by October 16, 2001.

4. Citibank received no payment from the plaintiff by October 16, 2001. As a result, the plaintiff was assessed a late fee/finance charge on her October 2001 statement and informed that a minimum payment of $16.84 was due by November 15, 2001.

5. On October 21, 2001, the plaintiff made a $10.00 charge on the gas card.

6. Citibank received a $6.84 payment from the plaintiff on October 22, 2001, the amount that was due by October 16, 2001, but an amount that was less than the minimum amount due by November 15, 2001.

7. As a result of other charges and credits, as of the December 2001 statement, the plaintiff had an outstanding balance of $31.32 and was informed that a minimum payment of $10.00 was due by January 15, 2002.

8. Citibank received no payment from the plaintiff by January 15, 2002. As a result, the plaintiff was assessed a late fee/finance charge on her January 2002 statement, her outstanding balance was $41.32, and she was informed that a minimum payment of $20.00 was due by February 16, 2002.

9. Citibank received no payment from the plaintiff by February 16, 2002. As a result, the plaintiff was assessed a late fee/finance charge on her February 2002 statement, her outstanding balance was $51.32, and she was informed that a minimum payment of $30.00 was due by March 15, 2002.

10. Citibank received no payment from the plaintiff by March 15, 2002. The plaintiff was assessed a late fee/finance charge but also received a late fee/finance charge adjustment on her March 2002 statement. As a result, the plaintiff's outstanding balance was $51.32, and she was informed that a minimum payment of $30.00 was due by April 14, 2002.

11. By check dated March 11, 2002, the plaintiff paid Citibank $41.32, an amount less than the outstanding balance as of the February 2002 and March 2002 statements. The plaintiff's check was endorsed by Citibank on March 18, 2002.

12. Citibank received a payment of $41.32 from the plaintiff on March 18, 2002, leaving a balance due of $10.00.

13. The plaintiff's March 2002 statement from Citibank did not show the receipt of the plaintiff's check for $41.32.

14. By letter dated March 28, 2002, Citibank provided a notice to the plaintiff which in part said:

A portion of your balance is presently past due. Since our terms require full payment of the past due amount, your account is suspended. No additional charges are authorized at this time. But if you take positive action now, by paying the payment due as shown above by the next billing cycle, you may continue making payments under the terms of your card member agreement, and we will not at this time enforce our right to collect the entire balance.

15. The plaintiff's April 2002 statement from Citibank did not show the receipt of the plaintiff's check for $41.32. This ...


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