The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARRY MOSKOWITZ, District Judge
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON
THE PLEADINGS AND DENYING MOTION TO STRIKE
On April 5, 2005, Defendant Sallie Mae, Inc. filed (1) a motion
for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c);
and (2) a motion to strike portions of the Complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). For the reasons stated below, the Court
GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendant's motion for
judgment on the pleadings and DENIES Defendant's motion to
The following allegations are made in the Complaint; the Court
does not make any findings as to the truth of these allegations.
Plaintiff is a physician who partially funded his education
through federally-funded student loans. (Complaint, ¶ 17.)
Defendant is a corporation engaged in a variety of services
related to student loans. Defendant is the servicer of
Plaintiff's student loans. (Id.) It is unclear whether
Defendant is also the lender of Plaintiff's student loans.
On a number of occasions, Plaintiff contacted Defendant by
telephone and requested a forbearance on his student loans.
(Complaint, ¶ 18.) Defendant always orally agreed to grant
Plaintiff a forbearance. (Complaint, ¶ 19.)
On or about June 2003, Plaintiff received an oral forbearance
from Defendant in keeping with their past practices. (Complaint,
¶ 20.) Plaintiff understood from his conversations with Defendant
that while the loans were in forbearance, Defendant would refrain
from reporting negative credit information about Plaintiff to
credit reporting agencies, and would not demand payment on the
loans. (Complaint, ¶ 21.) However, when Plaintiff reviewed his
credit report during this forbearance period, he discovered that
Defendant had reported negative credit information about him to a
number of credit reporting agencies. (Complaint, ¶ 22.)
Plaintiff contacted Defendant and demanded to know why
Defendant violated its previous agreement to grant Plaintiff a
forbearance. (Complaint, ¶ 23.) Defendant denied ever agreeing to
a forbearance and stated that Defendant would never grant a
forbearance over the telephone. (Complaint, ¶ 24.) Defendant then
informed Plaintiff that if he paid all of the past due payments
Defendant claimed were owed, Defendant would instruct the credit
reporting agencies to remove all of the negative credit
information in dispute. (Complaint, ¶ 25.) Plaintiff agreed and
paid the alleged past-due payments. (Complaint, ¶ 26.) However,
Defendant failed to correct the negative credit information as
promised. (Complaint, ¶ 27.) Defendant also failed to inform the
credit reporting agencies, that the previously reported debt was
in dispute. (Complaint, ¶ 29.) Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant failed to adequately investigate Plaintiff's
claims that the negative credit information was inaccurate and
should be corrected. (Complaint, ¶ 32.)
Subsequently, Plaintiff wrote to the credit reporting agencies
and disputed the accuracy of the reported information.
(Complaint, ¶ 30.) The credit reporting agencies conducted an
investigation into the dispute. (Complaint, ¶ 31.) During the
investigation, the credit reporting agencies contacted Defendant.
(Id.) When contacted, Defendant claimed that Plaintiff had failed to pay debts that were owed. (Id.)
Defendant failed to reinvestigate Plaintiff's claims regarding
the inaccuracy of this information. (Complaint, ¶ 32.)
Plaintiff alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(FCRA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and the California Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA) (also known as the
"Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act"), Cal. Civ. Code
A motion for judgment on the pleadings attacks the legal
sufficiency of the claims alleged in the Complaint. This Court
must construe "all material allegations of the non-moving party
as contained in the pleadings as true, and [construe] the
pleadings in the light most favorable to the [non-moving] party."
Doyle v. Rayle's Inc., 158 F.3d 1012, 1014 (9th Cir. 1998).
"Judgment on the pleadings is proper when the moving party
clearly establishes on the face of the pleadings that no material
issue of fact remains to be resolved and that it is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard
Feiner and Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1990).
A. Fair Credit Reporting Act
Defendant argues that Plaintiff's FCRA claims under
15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a) fail because there is no private right of action for
violations under said provision. The Court agrees. However, the
Court also finds that Plaintiff has a valid FCRA claim under
15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b).
Congress passed the FCRA in 1968 with the intent that "consumer
credit reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting
the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance,
and other information in a manner which is fair and equitable to
the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy,
relevancy, and proper utilization of such information. . . ."
15 U.S.C. § 1681(b). Originally, the FCRA established duties for consumer ...