AFSA Files Amicus in FCRA 11th Circuit Case
AFSA joined several other trades in an amicus brief in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case in front of the 11th Circuit. The case, Holden v. Holiday Inn Club Vacations, is over whether a furnisher has to investigate not only the factual accuracy of reported information, but also must assess and resolve legal disputes. AFSA and the other trades argue that consumer reporting agencies and furnishers have a duty to investigate whether disputed information in a credit file is accurate, but not to resolve all legal disputes about a debt.
The CFPB and FTC also submitted an amicus brief in the case, but on the other side of the issue. The agencies argue that not requiring furnishers to investigate legal disputes risks exposing consumers to more inaccurate credit reporting, conflicts with the decision of another circuit, undercuts the remedial purpose of the FRCA, and would allow furnishers to evade their statutory obligations by characterizing nearly any dispute as a “legal” one.
The trades’ amicus pushes back on these claims, stating that: (1) the FRCA clearly addresses factual inaccuracies, not legal disputes; (2) the 11th Circuit and other courts have already correctly interpreted the FCRA; and (3) the CFPB’s proposed approach is unworkable, expensive and inefficient. The brief noted that the FCRA’s legislative history confirms Congress’ focus on factual inaccuracies, not legal disputes, citing the story of Mary Lou Mobley, whose credit report reflected that she was married to a financially troubled man from Arizona, even though she had never been married or been to Arizona. The trades wrote, “Expecting credit personnel – especially those with no legal training – to resolve them borders on the absurd.”
February 16th, 2023 by Dan Bucherer