Court grants Medical-Commercial Audit's request to remand FDCPA case back to state court

By Tomas Kassahun | Apr 6, 2018

ST. LOUIS – In a ruling made on March 19, the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division remanded a case that cited the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act back to a state court as requested by one of the defendants.

Plaintiff Nancy Holderman-Grantham filed suit against five defendants: Wakefield & Associates Inc., Medical Commercial Audit Inc., Capital One, Experian Information Solutions Inc. and Trans Union LLC in January.

After Trans Union moved the case to the federal court, Medical-Commercial Audit moved to remand the case to state court and Trans Union did not oppose, according to the memorandum and order of remand.

Medical-Commercial Audit Inc. and Wakefield & Associates are debt collectors, located in High Ridge, Missouri and Aurora, Colorado respectively, while Capital One is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Experian Information Solutions Inc., located in Costa Mesa, California is credit bureau. Trans Union LLC, located in Chicago, also is a credit bureau.

The plaintiff said her credit report showed inaccuracies for accounts reported by Medical-Commercial Audit Inc. (MCA) and Wakefield & Associates (WAI), as well as a charged-off credit card from Kohls reported by Capital One and also student loans reported by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to the plaintiff’s lawsuit filed in January, Holderman-Grantham sent a letter to all three consumer reporting agencies disputing the accounts reflected in her credit report.

“Specifically the inaccuracies are that plaintiff is 100 percent disabled and had all of her student loans discharged in or around June 2015,” Matthew Cook, attorney for the plaintiff, wrote. “The discharge was approved by Nelent and the U.S. Department of Education.”

The plaintiff also said the open medical collection accounts for WAI and MCA should have been paid by insurance.

“Capital One is reflecting an amount owed of almost $600 which was double plaintiff's original credit limit of $300,” Cook wrote. “The amount claimed owed by Capital One was grossly higher then what plaintiff owed.”

According to the plaintiff, Trans Union and Experian Information Solutions received the disputed letter and forwarded the notice to all of the credit furnisher defendants.

“Every time furnishers received notice of the dispute from the (credit reporting agencies) they either failed to respond or provided back incorrect, incomplete inaccurate information as a result of their limited investigation,” Cook wrote.

Alleging violation of the FDCPA against WAI and MCA, the plaintiff requested judgment against the defendants for actual damages, release of the alleged debt, as well as attorney’s fees.

The plaintiff also sued Experian and Trans Union over alleged violation of the FCRA, saying the defendant failed to conduct a lawful reinvestigation, didn’t maintain reasonable procedures to verify disputed information in the plaintiff’s credit file, relied on unreliable source and didn’t correct the inaccuracies.

“As a result of this conduct, action and inaction of defendant credit bureaus, plaintiff suffered damages by loss of credit, loss of the ability to purchase and benefit from credit and the emotional distress caused by defendant,” the attorney said.

The plaintiff also asked for statutory damages, actual damages, punitive damages and attorney's fees against MCA and WAI.

“WAI and MCA, furnisher-subscriber, failed to review all relevant and pertinent information provided to it by the consumer reporting agencies and plaintiff,” Cook wrote.

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