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Goz v. Allied Collection Service, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 25, 2019

TONI GOZ, on behalf of the estate of LYNN D. TRAVERS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLIED COLLECTION SERVICES, INC., GRANT & WEBER, INC.; EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.; SILVER STATE SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION; AND WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Lynn Travers sued Defendants, alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. ECF No. 1. After the unfortunate passing of Travers, Plaintiff Toni Goz, in her capacity as administratrix of Travers's estate, was substituted as the proper party in this action. ECF No. 133.

         Before the Court now comes Plaintiff and Defendants Experian Information Solutions, Inc. and Silver State Schools Credit Union's Joint Motion for Reconsideration of Motions for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 134. The Court grants the Motion for Reconsideration. Thus, the Court reconsiders the following motions below: Plaintiff's two Motions for Partial Summary Judgment, ECF Nos. 84 and 93; Defendant Experian's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 82; and Defendant Silver State Schools's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 88.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Travers initiated this action on August 4, 2016, alleging two claims: (1) violation of the FCRA against all Defendants and (2) violation of the FDCPA against Defendants State Collection Service, Inc., Grant & Weber, Inc., and Allied Collection Services, Inc. ECF No. 1. This matter was later consolidated with Lynn Travers v. Experian Information Solutions Inc. and Silver State Schools Credit Union, 2:17-cv-01591-JCM-CWH (D. Nev. filed August 4, 2016). ECF No. 122.

         The Clerk of the Court entered default against Allied Collection Services on June 23, 2017.[1] ECF No. 78. Defendants State Collection Service, Inc., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Equifax Information Services, LLC, Trans Union, LLC, and Innovis Data Solutions, Inc. were all dismissed from this matter via voluntary dismissals or stipulations to dismissal. ECF Nos. 16, 18, 25, 34, 74. Grant & Weber was served but has not participated in this matter. ECF No. 36; see also docket (indicating Defendant Grant & Weber failure to defend). However, Grant & Weber has not been dismissed from the matter nor has an entry of default been entered against it. See docket.

         On July 3, 2017, Travers moved for partial summary judgment against Experian, ECF No. 84, and against Silver State Schools, ECF No. 93. The two Defendants also moved for summary judgment on Travers's claims. ECF Nos. 82, 88. Each motion was fully briefed by the parties. ECF Nos. 102, 103, 107, 111, 113, 114, 116, 117. The Court entertained oral argument on the motions on March 1, 2018, ultimately taking the motions under submission. ECF No. 21.

         Travers's counsel subsequently filed a Suggestion of Death on March 22, 2018, noticing the Court of Travers's passing. ECF No. 126. The Court therefore denied the four motions for summary judgment without prejudice and ordered counsel to move to substitute a real party in interest under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25 within sixty days of March 28, 2018. ECF No. 29. The Court also instructed the parties to file a joint motion for reconsideration of the four motions for summary judgment if a substitution was in fact made. Id. Plaintiff was substituted as the proper party in her capacity as administratrix of Travers's estate on May 18, 2018. ECF No. 133. Plaintiff and Defendants Experian and Silver State Schools now move for reconsideration of the four motions in accordance with the Court's order. ECF No. 134.

         III. JOINT MOTION TO RECONSIDER

         To begin, the Court grants the parties' Joint Motion for Reconsideration. The Court denied the parties' motions for summary judgment based on the lack of a real party in interest after Travers's death. Because a real party in interest, Plaintiff Goz, has been substituted in the matter and the parties move for reconsideration in accordance with the Court's earlier order, the Court finds the circumstances justify reconsideration of the motions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6) (allowing for relief reconsideration under certain circumstances, including “any other reason that justifies relief.”).

         IV. MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         The Court now turns to the four motions for summary judgment.

         a. Undisputed Facts

         The Court finds the following facts to be undisputed. As defined by the FCRA, Experian is a credit reporting agency (“CRA”), Silver State Schools is a furnisher, and Travers was a consumer.

         i. Travers's Bankruptcy

         Travers filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on August 29, 2011. The petition listed two of Travers's accounts on Schedule D: her Wells Fargo account and her first Silver State School account. The petition also listed Travers's second Silver State School account on Schedule F. The bankruptcy court confirmed Travers's plan of reorganization on January 25, 2012. Each of Travers's three accounts were included in the approved plan. The bankruptcy trustee entered a final account and report on May 14, 2015, indicating that Travers satisfied all the plan payments. The bankruptcy court discharged Travers on July 20, 2015.

         ii. Travers's Disputes to her Credit ...


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