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Falcy v. Citimortgage, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division

June 13, 2014

BARBARA FALCY, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
CITIMORTGAGE, INC., a New York corporation, Defendant.

ORDER

MARK D. CLARKE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Barbara Falcy brings this action against Defendant CitiMortgage alleging breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and violation of Oregon's Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act (OUDCPA). Currently before the court is CitiMortgage's motion to partially dismiss Faley's claims (#23). The parties executed written consent to entry of judgment by a United States Magistrate Judge (#32). For the reasons set forth below, CitiMortgage's motion is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part.

BACKGROUND

For the purpose of considering CitiMortgage's motion, the court accepts as true the allegations outlined in Faley's Amended Complaint. In August 2005, Faley and her late husband signed a promissory note in the amount of $141, 700 and executed a mortgage to CitiMortgage's predecessor-in-interest on real property located in Ames, Iowa. In 2009, Faley fell behind on her payments and CitiMortgage initiated a foreclosure action on the property. On January 22, 2010, Faley signed a Warranty Deed in lieu of foreclosure, deeding the property to the CitiMortgage, and an Estoppel Affidavit, releasing Faley from liability for the promissory note and mortgage. On March 24, 2010, CitiMortgage dismissed its foreclosure action.

Despite the Warranty Deed, Estoppel Affidavit, and case dismissal, CitiMortgage continued its efforts to collect approximately $64, 000 from Faley. Faley, Faley's counsel, and CitiMortgage's counsel in the foreclosure action instructed CitiMortgage that Faley had been released from liability and instructed CitiMortgage to cease collection efforts. However, CitiMortgage continued to call and send collection letters to Faley.

On August 7, 2013, Faley's counsel submitted a dispute to the three credit bureaus regarding information on Faley's credit report relating to her transaction with CitiMortgage. Faley and the credit bureaus notified CitiMortgage of the dispute. On August 15, 2013, CitiMortgage mailed Faley's counsel a letter stating it would investigate the issue and inform Faley of the results. As of February 2014, CitiMortgage was persisting in its collection efforts against Faley and had not altered the information it furnished to the credit bureaus. _

LEGAL STANDARD

Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a district court must dismiss a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The question presented by a motion to dismiss is not whether the plaintiff will prevail in the action, but whether the plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of the claim. Scheuer v. Rhodes , 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds, Davis v. Scherer , 468 U.S. 183 (1984). In answering this question, the court must assume that the plaintiffs' allegations are true and must draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs' favor. Usher v. Citv of Los Angeles , 828 F.2d 556, 561 (9th Cir. 1987). A complaint need not make "detailed factual allegations, " however, "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), plaintiffs must allege sufficient facts to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id . That is, plaintiffs must show that their claims are not merely conceivable, but plausible. Id . at 570; Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).

If the court dismisses the complaint, it must then decide whether to grant leave to amend. Leave to amend should be granted unless it is clear that the complaint cannot possibly be cured by the allegation of additional facts. Lucas v. Dep't of Corrs. , 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir. 1995); Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2) ("The court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires"). The court must also consider whether granting leave to amend will result in undue prejudice to the opposing party, is sought in bad faith or for a dilatory motive, is futile, or creates undue delay. U.S. ex. rel. Lee v. SmithKline Beecham. Inc. , 245 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2001).

DISCUSSION

CitiMortgage moves to dismiss four of Faley's five claims. Faley's First Claim for Relief, breach of contract, is not at issue in this motion. For the reasons set forth below, the court denies CitiMortgage's motion as to Faley's Second, Third, and Fourth Claims for relief; respectively alleging willful violation of the FCRA, negligent violation of the FCRA, and IIED.

The court grants CitiMortgage's motion as to.Faley's Fifth Claim for Relief, alleging violation of the OUDCP A, with leave to amend.

I. Fair Credit Reporting Act

The FCRA imposes a duty on a furnisher of credit information to investigate and, if necessary, correct credit information it submits to a credit reporting agency (CRA) upon notice from the CRA that a consumer has disputed the information's completeness or accuracy. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b). The FCRA confers on consumers a private right of action to enforce this duty. Id . Faley asserts two claims under the FCRA. First, Faley alleges that CitiMortgage is civilly-liable under 15 U.S.C. § 1681n for willfully failing to properly investigate and correct Faley's credit report dispute. ...


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