Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Letren v. Trans Union, LLC

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 21, 2018

NEIL F. LETREN, On behalf of himself and all others Similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANS UNION, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Paula Xinis United States District Judge.

         On September 15, 2017, the Court issued its Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Defendant TRANS UNION, LLC's motion for sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure and the inherent powers of the Court. ECF No. 116. The Court ordered that Plaintiff Neil F. Letren pay $200 and that his attorney Kevin L. Chapple pay $4, 000 to Defendant as sanction. Id.

         On October 13, 2017, Letren moved to alter or amend the Court's sanctions order, ECF No. 118. Also pending is Trans Union's motion for leave to file a motion to strike Letren's motion, on the grounds that it violated the Court's Case Management Order. See ECF No. 119. For the reasons stated below, Letren's motion to alter or amend the judgment, ECF No. 118, is DENIED, and Defendant's motion for leave to file motion to strike, ECF No. 119, is DENIED as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This civil action stems from a mortgage loan reported by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) to Plaintiff Neil F. Letren's (“Letren”) Trans Union credit report. This case has a long and tortured history that has already been discussed at length in the Court's two previous Opinions, ECF Nos. 81 & 116, and so will be described briefly below.

         A. Pre-Filing History

         According to the Amended Complaint, Letren “obtained several mortgage loans in 2007, including mortgage loans being reported to his credit reports by [JPMorgan] Chase [Bank, N.A.]. . . .” (the “Chase Account”). ECF No. 22 at 5; see also Id. (alleging the Trans Union credit report erroneously noted “the discharged Chase mortgage account as due and owing”); id. at 6 (“Both the PNC and Chase accounts were opened in 2007 and would have been included in the March 2010 Bankruptcy.”). In September of 2008, Letren's property was foreclosed upon. ECF No. 78-16 at 2; see also ECF No. 78-1 at 40 (listing four foreclosure proceedings). Letren's Trans Union consumer disclosure was then updated on September 29, 2008, to reflect the Chase Account as “foreclosure collateral sold.” ECF No. 78-4 at 2.

         On December 1, 2009, Letren filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. ECF No. 68 at 1; see also In re: Letren, No. 09-33378, (Bankr. D. Md. Dec. 1, 2009) (“Plaintiff's Bankruptcy Petition”). Letren's bankruptcy petition included a Schedule F of accounts to be discharged in the bankruptcy and listed five accounts, including three mortgage deficiencies from American Home Mortgage Acceptance (“AMHA”), Aurora Loan Services, and National City Mortgage. ECF No. 78-1 at 30; ECF No. 78-10 at 2. The Chase Account was not listed on the Schedule F. ECF No. 78-10 at 2. Letren now contends that the Chase Account is the same as the American Home Mortgage Acceptance Account. See ECF Nos. 109 & 114.

         In September of 2013, Letren obtained his Trans Union credit file. ECF No. 78-16 at 3. The report showed that the Chase Account had a balance of $0.00 as of October 6, 2008 with former terms of $4, 222 due monthly and the status of the account was “CBL: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.” ECF No. 78-15 at 9-11; see also ECF No. 78-16 at 3. Letren proceeded to dispute the accuracy of the report with Trans Union, first claiming on September 16, 2013 that “the [Chase] Account should be deleted because Chase could not adequately demonstrate that it was the legal holder of the note.” ECF No. 68 at 2; see also ECF Nos. 78-15 at 8 & 78-16 at 3. Then, in a series of written disputes with Trans Union over the next eleven months, Letren shifted his allegation of the error - claiming on October 23, 2013 that the Chase Account was discharged in 2009 bankruptcy; on February 19, 2014 that the Chase Account was a “duplicate of his Homeward Mortgage Account”; and finally, on February 19, 2014, that the Chase Account should be reported as discharged in bankruptcy and not past due. In April 2015, the Chase Account was automatically removed from Letren's credit file. ECF No. 78-15 at 4.

         On July 17, 2015, Letren, and co-plaintiff Candice Alston filed a class action complaint, through counsel Kevin Chapple (“Chapple”), against Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”). See Letren v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., No. 8:14-cv-03957-TDC (D. Md.). The allegations against Experian rely in part on the misreporting of Letren's Chase Account, claiming that the Chase Account, among other mortgage accounts, was erroneously reported as due and owing and not in bankruptcy. The Experian complaint also contended the Chase Account was a duplicate of an account reported by Homeward Residential. See Letren v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., ECF No. 15 at 5 n.3. As to the purported error in Ms. Alston's consumer report, she explicitly maintained that she did not have a mortgage account with Wells Fargo and that Wells Fargo did not own or service the account. Id. at 2.

         B. This Civil Action

         Almost three months later, on October 6, 2015, Letren, proceeding pro se, filed a class action complaint, alleging violations of the FCRA against Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Equifax Information Services, LLC, and Trans Union. ECF No. 2.[1] The Complaint asserted that Trans Union falsely reported the Chase Account as due and owing when the Chase Account was discharged in bankruptcy. The Complaint provided no allegations of a duplicate account - specifically, no allegations involving Homeward Residential, or a third mortgage loan company, AHMA.

         On November 16, 2015, Attorney Chapple then entered his appearance to represent Letren and the putative class. ECF No. 12. Several weeks later, Chapple filed an amended class action complaint (the “Amended Complaint”). ECF No. 22. The Amended Complaint maintained both class and individual claims, alleging that Defendant Trans Union violated 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) (Counts I and II) and 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a) (Counts III and IV) of the FCRA. ECF No. 22.

         With regard to Letren's individual claims, the Amended Complaint specifically alleged the Chase Account was discharged in Letren's 2009 bankruptcy, and unambiguously faults Trans Union for inaccurately reporting the Chase Account as due and owing instead of discharged in bankruptcy. See ECF No. 22 at ¶ 5, 8. The Amended Complaint further complains that Trans Union failed to perform a reasonable investigation into Letren's disputes and instead continued to report the Chase Account inaccurately. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 6. Importantly, at no place in the original Complaint, the Amended Complaint, or for several months thereafter in discovery, did Letren deny the Chase Account's existence or clearly articulate his theory that it was the same as the AMHA account. Rather, his main contention ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.