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Anning v. Capital One Auto Finance

United States District Court, N.D. California

December 6, 2019




         Plaintiff Marna Paintsil Anning filed the instant case against Defendant Capital One Auto Finance, asserting violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). (See Second Amend. Compl. (“SAC”), Dkt. No. 35.) On September 12, 2019, Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 36.)

         The Court deems this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). Upon consideration of the parties' arguments and the applicable legal authority, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion to dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that on July 6, 2014, Plaintiff purchased a vehicle, obtaining financing from Defendant. (SAC ¶ 6.) Plaintiff's payments were due on the 20th of each month, with a 10-day grace period. (SAC ¶¶ 6-7.) After Defendant changed Plaintiff's due date to the 27th of each month, Plaintiff asked Defendant to change her due date to the 1st of each month; Defendant agreed to make the change but failed to do so. (SAC ¶¶ 8-9.)

         In May 2015, Plaintiff became unemployed and made several late payments, falling behind on her payment schedule by thirty days. (SAC ¶ 11.) In September 2015, Defendant received a credit against Plaintiff's account due to a refund from the dealer. Although the credit exceeded two months' payments, Defendant continued to hold Plaintiff's account in delinquent status. (SAC ¶ 11.) In October 2015, Plaintiff brought her account to current status, but Defendant continued to report Plaintiff as past due to the credit bureaus. (SAC ¶ 11.)

         In January 2016, Plaintiff called Defendant to dispute her account status. (SAC ¶ 12.) Defendant offered Plaintiff a payment plan where she could skip that month's payment but accelerate one payment to the following month, such that Plaintiff would no longer incur late payment penalties. In February 2016, Plaintiff made a partial accelerated payment, but was unable to make the remainder of the payment. Plaintiff continued to make regular payments, but discovered in April 2016 that Defendant was reporting her 90 days past due. (SAC ¶ 12.)

         In May 2016, Plaintiff contacted Defendant for an accounting of her past payments. (SAC ¶ 13.) She also disputed her payment record in light of the dealer credit. Defendant, however, failed to credit the dealership payments. (SAC ¶ 13.) Defendant also continued to maintain the accelerated payment on Plaintiff's statements. (SAC ¶ 15.) Between September and October 2016, Plaintiff made several complaints to Experian regarding Defendant's reporting of her account payment history. (SAC ¶ 14.)

         In November 2016, Plaintiff paid all sums due, including the accelerated payment, and continued to make timely payments until November 2018. (SAC ¶¶ 15-16.) In July 2018, however, Plaintiff was denied a line of credit because Defendant had reported her note to be in arrears past sixty days, even though her account was current. (SAC ¶ 16.)

         In November 2018, Plaintiff missed a payment, but made a double payment in December 2018. (SAC ¶ 17.) Defendant, however, marked her December 2018 payment late starting in February 2019. (SAC ¶ 17.) In February 2019, Plaintiff received a notification that her credit score had dropped eighty points. (SAC ¶ 18.) That same month, she contacted Defendant to dispute the accuracy of the information reported, and requested that Defendant conduct an internal investigation to correct the “late” status of her December payment. (SAC ¶ 19.) Defendant declined to make any corrections. (SAC ¶ 19.) In March 2019, Plaintiff made additional complaints to Experian regarding her disputes with Defendant's reporting of Plaintiff's account payment history. (SAC ¶ 21.)

         In February 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant case in small claims court. (See Not. of Removal, Dkt. No. 1.) Defendant removed the case to federal court, and moved for dismissal. (See Dkt. No. 9.) The Court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss, after Plaintiff conceded her initial complaint was inadequate. (May 15, 2019 Ord. at 1-2, Dkt. No. 19.) The Court gave Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint.

         On June 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed her first amended complaint. Defendant then moved for dismissal. (Dkt. No. 22.) On July 31, 2019, the Court granted Defendant's motion, but only on the ground that Plaintiff did not allege she had initiated a dispute with a CRA. (July 31, 2019 Ord. at 4, Dkt. No. 30.) Because Plaintiff stated in her opposition that she had made complaints to Experian in September and October 2016, as well as in March 2019, the Court found amendment was not futile. (Id.) The Court rejected Defendant's arguments that Plaintiff had failed to allege that Defendant furnished any inaccurate information, and that Plaintiff had failed to allege that Defendant did not conduct a reasonable investigation. (Id. at 5-6.)

         On August 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed her second amended complaint. Defendant again moved for dismissal. On September 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed her opposition. (Pl.'s Opp'n, Dkt. No. 40.) On October 7, 2019, Defendant filed its reply. (Def.'s Reply, Dkt. No. 43.)

         II. ...

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