United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
KEITH T. SAYLOR, Plaintiff,
PINNACLE CREDIT SERVICES, LLC, Defendant
For Keith T. Saylor, Plaintiff: Ernest Paul Francis, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ernest P. Francis LTD, Alexandria, VA.
For Pinnacle Credit Services, LLC, Defendant: Bradley Todd Canter, Ronald Scott Canter, LEAD ATTORNEYS, The Law Offices of Ronald S. Canter, LLC, Rockville, MD.
Anthony J. Trenga, United States District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. Nos. 32, 47, 48] and Plaintiff's Motion for Dismissal of Count IV of Complaint [Doc. No. 74] (the " Motions" ). A hearing on the Motions was held on June 26, 2015, following which, the Court took the Motions under advisement. Upon consideration of the Motions, the memoranda filed in support thereof and in opposition thereto and the argument presented by counsel at the hearing, the Court concludes that there are no genuine issues of material fact and the Defendant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is therefore GRANTED and Plaintiff's Motion for Dismissal of Count IV is DENIED as moot.
Defendant Pinnacle Credit Services, LLC (" Pinnacle" or " Defendant" ) is in the business of buying delinquent debts at a steep discount [Doc. No. 1-1 ¶ ¶ 4, 6] (" Compl." ). This dispute revolves around Defendant's handling of a delinquent credit card account in Plaintiff's name. The Complaint alleges multiple violations by Defendant of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA" ), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (Counts I and II), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (" FCRA" ), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (Counts III and IV), as well as common law defamation (Count V), as a result of what information Defendant
furnished to credit reporting agencies. This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Based on the record before the Court, the following is undisputed, unless indicated otherwise:
In March 2007, Plaintiff Keith Saylor (" Plaintiff" or " Saylor" ) opened a Home Depot branded Citibank business credit card account in his own name and used the account to make purchases for his carpentry business (" the account" ). Saylor Dep. 16:6-19, May 4, 2015, Doc. No. 32-3. Plaintiff did not use the account for personal, family, or household purposes. Saylor Dep. 18:11-15. The last payment received by Citibank was in May 2008. Castle Decl. ¶ 11, Doc. No. 33-1. After Saylor became delinquent on his payments, Citibank charged off the account in December 2008 and sold the charged off account to Fourscore Resource Capital LLC (" Fourscore" ) in February 2010. Castle Decl. ¶ 11. Ex. A ¶ 7. At that time, the unpaid balance on the account was approximately $28,700. Castle Decl., Ex. A ¶ 5. In June 2010, Fourscore transferred the account to Pinnacle. Castle Decl. ¶ 9.
In October 2013, Saylor mailed credit dispute letters to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian (collectively, the " credit reporting agencies" or " CRAs" ), disputing, as Pinnacle reported, that with accruing interest the account had a past due balance in excess of $37,000 owed to Pinnacle. Saylor Dep. 39:13-18. In response to this dispute, Pinnacle reported on the credit reporting dispute verification it received from the CRAs that it did not report the account as " charged off," as Plaintiff claimed, because the amount had been charged off in December 2008 by Citibank, not Pinnacle. Castle Decl. ¶ ¶ 12, 16; Castle Dep. 132:2-5, May 11, 2015, Doc. No. 58-1. Pinnacle further reported that the account was listed as a " collection account" because the account was past due and had been referred to a third party debt collection agency. Castle Decl. ¶ 16; Castle Dep. 132:6-16. In November 2013, Pinnacle received notices from the CRAs that Plaintiff was disputing the account. Vita Decl. ¶ ¶ 10, 14, 18, Doc. No. 47-1. Pinnacle also received copies of Mr. Saylor's five page letters to Equifax and Trans Union to which he attached his credit reports and identification. Vita Decl. ¶ ¶ 12, 16.
Pinnacle has written policies and procedures that govern its reinvestigation of consumer disputes once it receives notice of a dispute ...