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Croft v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

April 4, 2016

DEBRA B. CROFT, Plaintiff,
v.
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC, and EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND

MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

This is a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, action. The Court has jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Debra B. Croft’s Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) motion to alter or amend the Court’s Order granting Defendant Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC (Defendant Bayview)’s motion for summary judgment. Having carefully considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, and the applicable law, it is the judgment of the Court that Plaintiff’s motion will be denied.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed her Amended Complaint against Defendant Bayview, a lending institution that provides credit information to consumer reporting agencies such as Defendant Equifax Information Services, LLC (Defendant Equifax) and Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (Defendant Experian), complaining in part of what she thought to be several violations of the FCRA. ECF No. 46. Because Plaintiff settled with Defendant Equifax and Defendant Experian, Defendant Bayview is the only defendant left in the lawsuit. ECF No. 72.

The relevant facts for purposes of this motion are as follows: Plaintiff became aware that Defendant Bayview began reporting a foreclosure claim on her credit report sometime after March 2012. In September 2012, Plaintiff contacted Defendant Equifax and Defendant Experian to dispute the entry. ECF No. 81 at 6. Defendant Experian first contacted Defendant Bayview regarding the notice of dispute, and after Defendant Bayview verified the accuracy of the foreclosure entry, Defendant Experian provided Plaintiff with an updated credit report on September 18, 2012. ECF No. 79-1 at 3-4. However, the loan default and foreclosure entry that Plaintiff had previously disputed remained on the updated credit report. Id.

Plaintiff also submitted a credit dispute directly to Defendant Bayview on October 4, 2012. Defendant Bayview, upon investigating the dispute, responded to Plaintiff by letter on October 30, 2012, informing her that it would not remove the foreclosure entry from her credit report. Id.; ECF No. 79-2 at 8-11. In Plaintiff’s deposition, she admitted receipt of Defendant Bayview’s October 30, 2012, letter and expressed her understanding that Defendant Bayview would not be changing its reporting of the foreclosure on her credit report. ECF No. 79-2 at 13-14. In Plaintiff’s response in opposition to Defendant Bayview’s motion for summary judgment, however, she presented an affidavit wherein she stated that she believed Defendant’s decision may have been made as a result of miscommunications. ECF No. 81-1 ¶ 16. Her affidavit further averred that she had yet to discover Defendant Bayview’s unreasonable investigation until December 2013. Id. ¶ 18.

Defendant Bayview filed a motion for summary judgment on December 22, 2015, which the Court granted on February 10, 2016, holding that Plaintiff’s allegations arising under the FCRA are barred by the two-year statute of limitations set forth by the FCRA. ECF No. 84. Then, on February 19, 2016, Plaintiff filed her motion under Rule 59(e) to alter or amend the Court’s Order granting Defendant Bayview’s motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 86. Defendant Bayview filed its response in opposition on March 7, 2016, ECF No. 87, and Plaintiff filed her reply on March 17, 2016, ECF No. 88. The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant issues, is now prepared to discuss the merits of the motion.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

There are only three limited bases for a district court to grant a Rule 59(e) motion: “(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.” Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993). A Rule 59(e) motion “may not be used to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.” Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 486 n.5 (2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). Further, “mere disagreement [with a district court’s ruling] does not support a Rule 59(e) motion.” Hutchinson, 994 F.2d at 1082. “In general[, ] reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.” Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat’l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998) (internal quotation marks omitted).

IV. CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES

In Plaintiff’s motion, she requests the Court alter or amend its Order granting Defendant Bayview’s motion for summary judgment under Rule 59(e)’s third basis; namely, that the Court correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. ECF No. 86 at 5. Plaintiff asserts that the Court erred by considering only one of the violations alleged under the FCRA, specifically the duty to correct an inaccurate report. Id. at 1-2, 5. Plaintiff therefore claims that the Court failed to examine the other purported violations of failure to maintain reasonable procedures to avoid the inclusion of incorrect information in the consumer credit report under 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) and failure to investigate or delete inaccurate information under § 1681s-2. Id. at 5-6. Plaintiff further propounds that the Court erred by supposedly making an inference in favor of Defendant Bayview by finding that the actions against Defendant Bayview for an improper and unreasonable investigation are precluded by the statute of limitations. Id. at 6-8. Finally, Plaintiff insists that the Court committed a clear error of law by failing to require a conclusive showing of Plaintiff’s knowledge of the averred deficiencies in Defendant Bayview’s investigation. Id. at 8-12.

Defendant Bayview disputes each of these assertions.

V. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

A. Plaintiff’s charge that the Court erred in considering just one of her ...


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