United States District Court, D. Maryland
JAMES E. DAVENPORT, Plaintiff,
SALLIE MAE, INC., et. al., Defendants
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
E. Davenport, Plaintiff, Pro se, Beltsville, MD.
Sallie Mae, Inc., SLM Corporation, Defendants: Bonnie L
Martin, PRO HAC VICE, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak and Stewart
PC, Indianapolis, IN; Joleen Okun, Ogletree Deakins Nash
Smoak and Stewart PC, Washington, DC.
Equifax, Inc., Equifax Information Services, LLC, Defendants:
Nathan Daniel Adler, Neuberger Quinn Gielen Rubin and Gibber
PA, Baltimore, MD.
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Davenport, pro se, has sued Sallie Mae, Inc., and
SLM Corporation (since renamed, so collectively, "
Navient" ), alleging numerous federal and state law
violations resulting from Navient's reporting of
Davenport's credit history to various credit reporting
agencies. Navient has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
(Paper No. 99). For the reasons that follow, Navient's
Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED.
about July 19, 2006, Davenport signed a Federal PLUS Loan
Application and Master Promissory Note (" Note" )
in favor of Navient to obtain a loan to finance his
daughter's post-secondary education. On December 4, 2006,
Navient disbursed $6,800 of loan proceeds to Union College on
behalf of Davenport's daughter. The daughter was
continuously enrolled in college from the fall of 2006 until
her graduation in May 2010.
alleges that his contract with Navient provided that the
repayment of the loan principal would be deferred during the
period of his daughter's post-secondary studies and would
only begin six months after her graduation, with the
understanding that in the meantime interest would accrue and
be capitalized. Navient contends that the original Note
included no such deferment provision; to the contrary, it
says Davenport agreed to repay the loan in periodic
installments beginning on December 4, 2006.
early 2007 until approximately June 2010, Navient and
Davenport had numerous communications via email, phone, and
ordinary mail regarding their disagreement over when the
repayment of the loan would begin. During these
communications, Davenport received letters granting him: a
forbearance from February 19, 2007 through February 18, 2008
(Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 2); another forbearance from February
19, 2008 through February 18, 2009 ( id. Ex. 4); and
a third from February 19, 2009 through February 18, 2010 (
id. Ex. 6). The first payment on the last
forbearance was originally due on March 18, 2010.
Id. Ex. 8.
April 2, 2010, Navient sent Davenport a late notice for
failure to pay as of March 18, 2010. Def.'s Mot. Ex. ?
(Dav. Dep. 48:20-49:2; Ex. 5). On April 9, 2010, Davenport
called Navient and, still believing that the original deal
only required payments to begin 6 months after his daughter
graduated (i.e., the end of 2010), again sought delay of the
again agreed to delay the payments, though there is
disagreement as to the nature of that delay. Davenport
suggests that Navient agreed to a 10-month
forbearance, until December 2010. On April 9, 2010,
Navient sent Davenport two letters. The first acknowledges a
ten-month forbearance beginning on " February 19, 2009
[sic]" ; the second advises that his first payment would
be due on May 18, 2010. Pl.'s Resp. Exs. 9, 10.
on the other hand, argues that Davenport asked for (and was
mistakenly granted) a deferment. Because the
deferment was keyed to his daughter's school schedule,
Navient applied a deferment to his account from January 5,
2010, through May 5, 2010. To keep the bookkeeping
consistent, this required an ex post facto change of
the prior forbearance's end date from February 18, 2010,
to January 4, 2010.
April 16, 2010, Navient says it realized that Davenport did
not qualify for a deferment and therefore removed it from his
account. Because of the ex post change in the end
date of his prior forbearance to January 4, 2010, Navient
concluded that Davenport in fact had been delinquent since
January 5, 2010. Accordingly, on April 16, 2010, Navient sent
three letters to Davenport advising him that the deferment
had been removed, that he was more than 60-days delinquent,
and that he needed to begin payment right away in the amount
of $334.95. Def.'s Mot. Ex. A (Austin Dec., Exs. 4-6).
April 19, 2010, Davenport called to dispute this change and
did so again via a letter dated April 22, 2010. In the
letter, he expressed frustration with Navient's process
and stated that he had already elected forbearance in
conversations with Navient representatives. Pl.'s Resp.
Ex. 12. He referenced the April 9, 2010 letter from Navient
confirming that selection. Davenport requested a full
statement of his account, an indication of whether the
account was current, and a verification in writing of any
adverse statements Navient might have communicated to any
credit bureaus with respect to his account.
on April 30, 2010, Navient sent notice of his delinquency to
the Credit Reporting Agencies (" CRAs" ).
Def.'s Mot. Ex. A (Austin Dec. ¶ 23, Ex. 8).
about May 24, 2010, Davenport received correspondence from
Navient stating that his loan repayment was 90-days overdue
and that his delinquency had been reported. Pl.'s Resp.
Ex. 13. Davenport informed the three CRAs (Equifax, Experian,
and Trans Union) that he disputed the report. On August 23
and 24, 2010, Navient received the first two automated
consumer dispute verifications (" ACDVs" )
regarding Davenport's dispute. Navient received two more
ACDVs on October 13, 2010. Def.'s Mot. Ex. ? (Considine
Dec. ¶ 9, Ex. 1).
states that it verified the accuracy of its report that
Davenport was delinquent and notified the CRAs, after which
the CRAs ended their own investigations. Davenport disputes
the accuracy of Navient's report and submits that his
credit rating suffered because of Navient's reporting to
the CRAs, triggering a host of damages. These included, among
others: the loss or dramatic reductions of several business
lines of credit; the loss of an investment opportunity; an
increase in his car insurance premiums; and emotional
point in May 2010, Davenport again requested and received a
forbearance that was retroactively applied to the previously
delinquent period. Def.'s Mot. Ex. A (Austin Dec. ¶
24; Ex. 9). Navient states that it has not reported any
further delinquency on Davenport's loan beyond the April
30, 2010 delinquency. Id. ¶ 25; Def.'s Mot.
Ex. ? (Davenport Dep., 92:17-21). Pursuant to Navient's
policy, however, a prior delinquency report to the CRAs is
not removed when a retroactive forbearance is applied that
covers the delinquency period. Def.'s Mot. Ex. C
(Considine Dec. ¶ 24).
Complaint in this Court originally asserted twelve causes of
action against Navient: (1) negligent violation of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (" FCRA" ); (2) willful
violation of the FCRA; (3) malicious defamation; (4)
violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("
FDCPA" ); (5) violation of the Maryland Consumer
Debt Collection Act (" MCDCA" ) and consequent
violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act ("
MCPA" ); (6) interference with contract; (7)
interference with economic relationships; (8) injurious
falsehood; (9) injurious falsehood amounting to defamation;
(10) civil conspiracy; (11) intentional ...