United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
Michael Fuller OlsenDaines, Robert S. Sola Robert S. Sola,
P.C., Kelly D. Jones The Law Office of Kelly D. Jones
Attorneys for Plaintiff
E. Sabido Timothy J. Fransen Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP
Attorneys for Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Matthew Sponer brings this action against Defendant Wells
Fargo, alleging failures to comply with the requirements of
the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681
et seq. Before the Court is Defendant's motion for
partial summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the
Court DENIES Defendant's motion.
is a victim of identity fraud. In the summer of 2016, while
Plaintiff was on an extended trip out of the country, his
identity was used to purchase a car from a dealer in
California. Fransen Decl. Ex. 3, 4, ECF 29. That purchase was
financed by a loan from Wells Fargo Dealer Services, a
division of Wells Fargo. Sola Decl. Ex. 1, ECF 38.
learned of the fraud when police in California arrested the
man they believed had used Plaintiff's identity to obtain
the Wells Fargo loan. See Fransen Decl. Ex. 4, 6.
Upon learning of the fraud, Plaintiff's attorney faxed a
letter to Wells Fargo. Sola Decl. Ex. 4. In this letter, the
attorney explained that Plaintiff's identity had been
stolen and that police had already arrested a suspect.
Id. He provided the contact information for
Detective Tugashov, who he said could confirm this
day that Wells Fargo received Plaintiff's letter, it
prepared a “Suspected Unusual Activity Form.”
Sola Decl. Ex. 5. The form listed Plaintiff's name,
address, social security number, and the contact information
for Plaintiff's attorney. Id.
October 26, 2016, Wells Fargo spoke with, and sent a letter
to, Plaintiff's attorney. Sola Decl. Ex. 7 at 5, Fransen
Decl. Ex. 5. This letter requested a (1) standard identity
theft affidavit; (2) copy of Plaintiff's social security
card; (3) copy of Plaintiff's driver's license or
other form of identification; and (4) copy of any relevant
police report. Fransen Decl. Ex. 5. Defendant asked that this
information be provided by November 26, 2016. Id.
same day, Wells Fargo also spoke with Detective Tugashov.
Fransen Decl. Ex. 6. Detective Tugashov confirmed that he was
investigating the case. Id. He told Wells Fargo that
a suspect had used Plaintiff's stolen identity to finance
the purchase of a car, and that once the case was over, the
car would be released to Wells Fargo. Fransen Decl. Ex. 4, 6.
Fargo stayed in contact with police throughout November and
December of 2016. Sola Decl. Ex. 7. On November 3, 2016, for
example, Detective Tugashov told Wells Fargo that the suspect
had pled guilty and was scheduled to be sentenced.
Id. at 4. He again confirmed that the car could be
released to Wells Fargo after the suspect was sentenced.
Id. On December 13, 2016, Wells Fargo made the
following internal note:
Detective Edward Tugashov from Chula Vista Police Department
informed us that this was determined to be fraud **unit
purchased by a Jason Yachum [sic] after he supposedly stole
our customers identity. This person is in custody as of
11/3/16. Our unit is being held as evidence pending
sentencing which has now been rescheduled to 1/9/17.
Sola Decl. Ex. 7 at 2.
this period of time, Plaintiff also submitted disputes to
various credit reporting agencies (CRAs), including Equifax
and Experian. Sola Decl. Ex. 8, 9, 10, 11. On or around
October 29, 2016, Wells Fargo received the first Automated
Consumer Dispute Verification notice
(“ACDV”) from Experian. Fransen Decl. Ex. 7. The
ACDV explained that “Consumer claim[ed] true identity
fraud.” Id. at 1. Wells Fargo received three
more ACDVs over the next three weeks. Sola Decl. Exs. 9, 10,
11. Between November and December, Wells Fargo responded to
all four ACDVs by indicating that the account belonged to
Plaintiff. Sola Decl. Ex. 12 at 1-4.
January 2017, the identity thief was sentenced, and the car
returned to Wells Fargo. Sola Dec. Ex. 14 at 115-17; Ex. 7 at
1. On January 19, 2017, Plaintiff responded to Wells
Fargo's earlier request for information with another
letter disputing the fraudulent account. Sola Decl. Ex. 15.
This letter included a copy of a police report and an FTC
Identity Theft Victim's Complaint and Affidavit.
Id. It did not include a copy of Plaintiff's
social security card or driver's license. Id. On
February 15, 2017, Wells Fargo responded by letter, stating