United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
TALWANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendant Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance's
Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary
Judgment [#15]. For the reasons set forth below, the
motion is ALLOWED.
Alan Dorsey brings this action against Defendant Liberty
Mutual Auto Insurance [hereinafter “Liberty
Mutual”]. Civil Compl. Suit [#1] 1
[“Compl.”]. He alleges that Liberty Mutual was
negligent and violated the Fair Credit Billing Act, 15 U.S.C.
§ 1601 et seq., the Fair Credit Reporting Act,
15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et
seq., and the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C.
§ 151 et seq., in its efforts to collect money
it believed Dorsey owed on a car insurance policy. Compl.
10-12. Liberty Mutual seeks dismissal for failure to state a
claim that those federal statutes are applicable, and for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction over Dorsey's
negligence claim. Mot. Dismiss, Summ. J. 2 [#15].
Standard of Review
complaint in federal court must provide facts showing that
the court has jurisdiction and that the plaintiff is entitled
to relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. If the facts, taken as true, do
not allow a court to plausibly infer that the plaintiff is
entitled to relief, the court must allow a defendant's
motion to dismiss. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Fair Credit Billing Act
Fair Credit Billing Act protects consumers from certain
credit billing practices. 15 U.S.C. § 1601.
“Credit” means that an entity allowed a consumer
to take on a debt, and then defer payment for that debt,
rather than having that debt be due immediately. 15 U.S.C.
§ 1602(f) (“The term ‘credit' means the
right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of
debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.”). Because
of this, a person seeking to bring a complaint under the Fair
Credit Billing Act must show the court that the defendant
allowed him or her to take on a debt and defer payment in a
way that made payments not immediately due. Am. Express
Co. v. Koerner, 452 U.S. 233, 240-241 (1981). If the
plaintiff cannot show the court that he or she was extended
credit by the defendant, the court must dismiss a complaint
brought under the FCBA.
Dorsey has not shown that he was extended
“credit” by Liberty Mutual. Instead, Dorsey
states he was sent regular bills by Liberty Mutual for car
insurance he did not purchase. As no “credit” was
extended, Dorsey's claim under the Fair Credit Billing
Act must be DISMISSED.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fair Credit Reporting Act seeks to make sure that credit
reporting is fair and accurate. Chiang v. Verizon New
England, Inc., 595 F.3d 26, 34 (1st Cir. 2010). To do
this, the Fair Credit Reporting Act places obligations on
three types of people/entities: first, the credit reporting
agencies themselves; second, people or entities that use
credit reports; and third, entities or people that provide
information to credit reporting agencies, which are known as
“furnishers” of information. Chiang v.
MBNA, 634 F.Supp.2d 164, 167 (D. Mass. 2009).
complaint is most fairly read as stating that Liberty Mutual
violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by violating the set
of rules governing “furnishers” of information.
He states that Liberty Mutual “turned all of Mr.
Dorsey's personal information and fraudulent billing over
to the Credit Collection Services . . . and also sent his
name and personal information to credit collection agencies
and credit scoring bureaus.” Compl. [#1] 6.
Fair Credit Reporting Act only allows individuals to sue a
“furnisher” of information, however, when the
“furnisher” has been told by a credit scoring
bureau that a complaint has been made, and when the
“furnisher” fails to act properly to investigate
that complaint reported by the credit scoring
bureau. See Chiang v. Verizon New England Inc.,
595 F.3d 26, 35-36 (1st Cir. 2010). Here, Dorsey does not
state (i) that a credit scoring agency notified Liberty
Mutual of any complaint, or (ii) that Liberty ...