United States District Court, D. Maryland
NEIL F. LETREN, pro se Plaintiff
PNC BANK, N.A. Defendant
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Neil F. Letren has filed a lawsuit against
PNC Bank, N.A. (“PNC”) alleging that it violated
the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681 et seq, in connection with two mortgage
loans he took out in 2007. Letren avers that PNC conducted an
inadequate investigation as to whether it owned the mortgage
loans in response to a dispute Letren submitted to an
unspecified credit reporting agency (“CRAs).
filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, ECF No. 15,
which, for the reasons that follow, the Court
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
City Mortgage Company (NCMC) issued two mortgage loans to
Letren in July 2007. ECF No. 13 ¶ 4. Defendant PNC
acquired NCMC in November 2009. Id. at ¶5.
According to Letren, at some point prior to its acquisition,
NCMC sold his mortgages to a third party. Id. at
this, at some point, PNC began reporting that it held both of
his mortgage loans to credit reporting agencies. Id.
¶ 14. Letren sent three letters to the CRAs disputing
that PNC owned the loans, the latest of which was sent in
“August 2014.” Id. ¶ 16. In
response to the CRAs' investigations, PNC verified that
it held the mortgages despite the fact that it did not
possess any supporting documentation. Id. ¶ 19.
As a result, Letren's credit reports continued to
inaccurately report that PNC was the owner of his mortgages,
causing him to suffer actual damages. Id. ¶ 20.
filed suit against PNC in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County on August 29, 2016. ECF No. 1. PNC
removed the action to this Court on November 22, 2016,
id., and filed a Motion to Dismiss on December 13,
2016. ECF No. 11.
filed an Amended Complaint on January 4, 2017, ECF No. 13,
alleging that PNC violated the FCRA when it “did not
conduct a thorough, detailed, and careful inquiry of [his]
claims, ” ECF No. 13 ¶ 22, including verifying
that it was the owner of Letren's mortgages. Instead it
simply verified that the information on the credit report was
consistent with the information in its computer system and
reported back to the CRAs that the account was properly
listed. ECF No. 13 ¶ 22. PNC did not report to the CRAs
that Letren had previously disputed the account directly to
PNC. Id. ¶¶ 26-27. These actions, Letren
says, are evidence that PNC willfully violated the FCRA, or
was at least negligent. Id. ¶¶ 28-31.
filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on February 10,
2017, arguing that the two year statute of limitations had
run with respect to Letren's claim. ECF No. 15. Letren
Responded, ECF No. 16, and PNC Replied. ECF No. 17.
on the pleadings is appropriate where “all material
allegations of fact are admitted in the pleadings and only
questions of law remain.” Republic Ins. Co. v.
Culbertson, 717 F.Supp. 415, 418 (E.D. Va. 1989)(quoting
5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure
§ 1367, at 685 (1969)). In considering such a motion,
the Court should “accept all well-pleaded allegations
in the plaintiff's complaint as true and draw all
reasonable factual inferences from those facts in the
plaintiff's favor.” Drager v. PLIVA USA,
Inc., 741 F.3d 470, 474 (4th Cir. 2014)(quoting
Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th
Cir.1999)). The Court should not dismiss “a pro
se litigant's complaint . . . unless it appears
beyond doubt that the litigant can prove no set of facts in
support of his claim that would entitle him to relief.
Siple v. First Franklin Fin. Corp., No. CIV.A.
RDB-14-2841, 2015 WL 2374414, at *2 (D. Md. May 15, 2015),
reconsideration denied, No. CV RDB-14-2841, 2015 WL
6163791 (D. Md. Oct. 19, 2015), aff'd, 653
F.App'x 786 (4th Cir. 2016), and aff'd, 653
F.App'x 786 (4th Cir. 2016).
FCRA provides that “[i]f the completeness or accuracy
of any item of information contained in a consumer's file
at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer .
. . the [CRA] shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable
reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information
is inaccurate and record the current status of the disputed
information, or delete the item from the file . . . before
the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which
the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the
consumer or reseller.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681i
(a)(1)(A). As part of these disputes, CRAs typically ask for
verification from the furnisher of the information - in this
case, PNC. The statute of limitations for bringing an action
under the FCRA is “[two] years after the date of
discovery by the plaintiff of the violation that is the basis
for such liability.” 15 U.S.C. § 1681p(1).
filed this lawsuit on August 29, 2016, ECF No. 2, which means
that limitations have run with respect to any claims that
accrued before August 29, 2014.
Amended Complaint, Letren avers that he discovered that PNC
erroneously reported that it owned his mortgages and disputed
that in a “letter dated August 2014” to the CRAs.
ECF No. 13 ¶16. He alleges that he did not receive the
results of the investigation until “September 2014,
” which is when he discovered that PNC's
investigation was deficient, and that “[u]pon
information and belief, [the] PNC investigation was conducted
after August 29, 2014.” Id. In his Response to
PNC's Motion, Letren elaborated on his interactions with
PNC, asserting that the August 2014 letter was actually ...