United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is defendant Experian Information Solutions,
Inc.'s (“Experian”) motion to dismiss, filed
on February 25, 2019. (ECF No. 32). On March 11, 2019,
plaintiff Eric Steinmetz (“Steinmetz”) filed an
amended complaint. (ECF No. 44).
before the court is defendant Experian's motion to
dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint. (ECF No. 50).
Steinmetz filed a response (ECF No. 63), to which Experian
replied (ECF No. 72).
before the court is defendant American Honda Finance
Corporation's (“American Honda”) motion to
dismiss plaintiff's amended complaint. (ECF No. 60).
Steinmetz filed a response (ECF No. 92),  to which AHF
replied (ECF No. 99).
filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy on June 30, 2016. (ECF No. 44
at 7). Steinmetz's chapter 13 plan was confirmed on
February 15, 2017. Id. Pursuant to the terms of his
chapter 13 plan, Steinmetz made ongoing payments on two
automobile loans to American Honda and Mechanics Bank.
Id. Steinmetz was discharged on July 16, 2017.
Id. After his discharge, Steinmetz continued making
payments on the American Honda and Mechanics Bank loans.
Id. at 8. Steinmetz's post-bankruptcy payments
were not reported in his “consumer file” by
credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”). Id.
Steinmetz alleges only three causes of action-a violation of
the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681 et seq. against all defendants, a
violation of Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”)
§ 598C against the CRA defendants, and a violation of
NRS § 41.600 against Experian-Steinmetz's prolix
complaint details a litany of allegedly-wrongful actions
underlying those claims. (See generally ECF No. 44).
relevant here, Steinmetz alleges that American Honda, as a
“furnisher” under the FCRA, failed to report
positive payment history to the CRAs. Id. Further,
Experian did not report positive payment on his American
Honda and Mechanic's Bank accounts, listed multiple
“charge-offs” on his Syncb/Sam's Club account,
and reported inconsistent bankruptcy-inclusion dates across
several of his accounts. Id. Experian's file on
Steinmetz included information on his addresses and name, but
Experian represented to Steinmetz that his address
information did not affect his credit score. Id.
Experian disclosed the source of the address information
using a coding system, rather than “plain
English.” Id. Steinmetz argues that these
aspects of Experian's consumer reports, consumer
disclosures, and consumer file for Steinmetz were inaccurate
under the FCRA. Id.
Marketing Solutions offers “behavioral data”
services including OmniView, ConsumerView, TrueTouch, and
MetroNet. Id. No information from these services was
included in the disclosures Experian sent to Steinmetz.
may dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide
“[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed
factual allegations, it demands “more than labels and
conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative
level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, to
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter to “state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678 (citation omitted).
Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step
approach district courts are to apply when considering
motions to dismiss. First, the court must accept as true all
well-pled factual allegations in the complaint; however,
legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Id. at 678-79. Mere recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory
statements, do not suffice. Id.
the court must consider whether the factual allegations in
the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief.
Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when
plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow the court
to draw a reasonable inference that defendant is liable for
the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678.
the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
“alleged - but it has not shown - that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Id. at 679. When the
allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from
conceivable to plausible, plaintiff's claim must be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
Ninth Circuit addressed post-Iqbal pleading
standards in Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th
Cir. 2011). The Starr court held:
First, to be entitled to the presumption of truth,
allegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not simply
recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain
sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair
notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively. Second, the factual allegations that are taken
as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such
that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be
subjected to the expense of discovery and continued
initial matter, the court denies Experian's motion to
dismiss (ECF No. 32) as moot in light of Steinmetz's
amended complaint (ECF No. 44). The court now turns to the
pending motions to dismiss Steinmetz's first amended
Steinmetz's claim against American Honda Finance
sustain either a § 1681e or a § 1681i claim, a
consumer must first ‘make a prima facie showing of
inaccurate reporting by the CRA.'” Shaw v.
Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 891 F.3d 749, 759 (9th Cir.
2018) (quoting Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs.,
LLC, 629 F.3d 876, 890 (9th Cir. 2010). Although §
1681e refers to “maximum possible accuracy”
rather than mere technical accuracy, “this does not
relieve [plaintiffs] of the burden to prove that the
inaccuracy is ‘misleading in such a way and to such an
extent that it can be expected to adversely affect credit
decisions.'” Id. at 757 (quoting
Carvalho, 629 F.3d at 890).
debtor makes all of his payments under the bankruptcy plan,
“all debts provided for by the plan or disallowed under
section 502” are discharged. 11 U.S.C. § 1328.
“The Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Court broadens the
meaning of ‘provided for' to include any debt when
it is ‘dealt with' in any manner and ‘upon
any terms'-not simply when a debt is paid through a
bankruptcy trustee.” Reichardt v. Trans Union
LLC, No. CV-18-00223-TUC-RCC, 2019 WL 1359119, at *3 (D.
Ariz. Mar. 26, 2019) (citing In re Gregory, 19 B.R.
668, 669-70 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1982), aff'd sub
nom. 705 F.2d 1118 (9th Cir. 1983)) (alterations
omitted); see also Rake v. Wade, 508 U.S. 464, 473
(1993) (“The most natural reading of the phrase to
‘provid[e] for by the plan' is to ‘make a
provision for' or ‘stipulate to' something in a
plan.” [alteration in original]).
debt is discharged, a CRA “reporting ‘zero
balances' is accurate, given that plaintiffs have cast
off their personal liability-that is, plaintiffs technically
owe nothing more on those accounts.” Horsch v.
Wells Fargo Home Mortg., 94 F.Supp.3d 665, 674 (E.D.
Penn. 2015). Thus, this court comes to the same conclusion as
the court did in Reichardt: “[a] credit
reporting agency need not continue to report a mortgage
account when the debtor's personal liability on the
mortgage account was discharged through bankruptcy,
regardless of whether the debtor continues to make payments
on the mortgage.” Reichardt, 2019 WL at *3
(citing Horsch, 94 F.Supp.3d at 674-75;
Schueller v. Wells Fargo & Co., 559 Fed.Appx.
733, 734 (10th Cir. 2014)).
Steinmetz alleges that both Equifax and Experian
“reported the American Honda and Mechanics Bank
[t]radelines as having balances of $0 and statuses of
bankruptcy chapter 13[.]” (ECF No. 44 at 15, 24).
Steinmetz argues that such a determination was
“inaccurate as [he] continued to make his car payments
both during and after his [c]hapter 13 bankruptcy.”
undisputedly listed his debt to American Honda in his
bankruptcy schedules. (ECF No. 44 at 7). As a result, that
debt was discharged, and Steinmetz had no personal
liability-a zero balance-on the loan. Despite Steinmetz's
assertion to the contrary, reporting a zero balance and a
bankruptcy chapter 13 status is neither inaccurate nor
misleading. American Honda had no legal obligation to report
the Steinmetz's positive payment history after the debt
was discharged because Steinmetz had no personal liability on
failed to make a prima facie showing that American Honda
reported inaccurate information. His claim fails, and
American Honda's motion to dismiss is granted.
Steinmetz's claims against Experian
perfunctorily alleges three claims against Experian. (ECF No.
44 at 52-53). Resolving Steinmetz's first claim
“requires a short journey through an array of statutes
(all from Title 15 of the code) with a numbering system . . .
that only a lawyer could love.” Gillespie v. Trans
Union Corp., 482 F.3d 907, 908 (7th Cir. 2007). The
“general allegations” in Steinmetz's
complaint catalogue several violations of discrete sections
of the FCRA-§§ 1681e, 1681g, 1681i, and 1681s-that
Steinmetz incorporates by reference into a single claim:
“violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.
(FCRA).” Steinmetz also scatters various accusations
that Equifax violated NRS §§ 598C.130, 598C.160,
598.0915(5), 598.0923(3), and 41.600 throughout his general