United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge.
Ian Humphrey brings claims against several consumer reporting
agencies- Trans Union, LLC, Equifax Information Services LLC,
and Experian Information Solutions Inc.-and his former loan
servicer, Navient Solutions, LLC, for violations of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.
Humphrey alleges that Navient misreported to the consumer
reporting agencies that he had failed to make required
payments on his student loan accounts. As a result, the
consumer reporting agencies reported inaccurate information
Trans Union has moved for judgment on the pleadings, pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Dkt. 36. The court
has already granted Experian's motion to adopt and join
Trans Union's motion, Dkt. 38 and Dkt. 39, and the court
will grant Experian's motion to adopt and join Trans
Union's reply brief, Dkt. 43, and Equifax's motion to
adopt and join Trans Union's motion, Dkt. 50. Thus, the
motion is brought, in effect, on behalf of all three consumer
reporting agency defendants.
real issue is with Navient; he does not have any actionable
claims against the consumer reporting agencies, so the court
will grant their motion for judgment on the pleadings. The
court will for the most part deny the various motions that
Humphrey has filed since the parties completed briefing on
the Rule 12(c) motion.
court draws the following facts from Humphrey's second
amended complaint, Dkt. 29, accepting them as true for
purposes of the motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Finch v. Peterson, 622 F.3d 725, 728 (7th Cir.
had student loans; Navient serviced the loans. In August
2011, Navient sent Humphrey an “expired” Total
Permanent Disability Discharge application form, presumably
because Humphrey intended to apply for the discharge and
requested the necessary forms. It is unclear what
“expired” means in this context; the court infers
that the application form was somehow defective. And so
Navient denied Humphrey's application on October 23,
2011, for that reason. Around eight or nine months later,
Humphrey called Navient and complained that it had sent him
an expired application form. Apparently this phone call
accomplished little, because Navient sent Humphrey a second
expired application form. Humphrey called Navient a second
time, and Navient assured Humphrey that it would accept his
application. But Navient denied Humphrey's second
application on November 26, 2012. A year or so later,
Humphrey and Navient engaged in some type of alternative
dispute resolution, via the Department of Education Ombudsman
Group. On June 5, 2014, the Department of Education approved
Humphrey's Total Permanent Disability Discharge
application, “for identical reasons, and on [the] same
physicians' credentials, [as] were previously
denied.” Dkt. 29, ¶ 19.
then, Navient has reported and continues to report to
consumer reporting agencies that Humphrey did not make
required payments from September through December 2012 and
July through December 2013. Humphrey alleges that,
“[o]n information and belief, the Derogatory
Information was false, as Humphrey was not required to make
payments to Navient during the 120-day period after he
notified them of his intent to file a discharge application
nor during Navient's review period.” Id.
¶ 21. Humphrey disputed the reports of non-payment with
Navient; Navient stood by the information it reported.
Humphrey also disputed the reports with the consumer
reporting agencies-Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian
(CRAs)-and the agencies reported the disputes to Navient.
Navient responded by validating all loan items. The CRAs
continued to report the “derogatory information.”
requested that the CRAs “reinvestigate” the
non-payment issue and asked for information regarding how
each verified the information. Humphrey summarily alleges
that, “[o]n information and belief, [the CRAs] did not
conduct a reasonable investigation into the accuracy of
[their] reporting of Humphrey's accounts with
Navient.” Id. ¶¶ 30, 32, 34.
Humphrey continued to dispute the non-payment issue with
defendants in 2015.
brings claims against the CRAs for willful and negligent
violations of the FCRA for “failing to follow
reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of
the information in consumer reports, ” failing to
comply with the FCRA's reinvestigation requirements, and
failing to give Humphrey his credit file. Id.
¶¶ 71, 79. Humphrey brings claims against Navient
for failing to investigate the information it reported,
failing to review all information it received from the CRAs,
failing to report the results of its investigation to the
CRAs, failing to report that the information is supplied was
inaccurate, and failing to modify, delete, or permanently
block the inaccurate information.
court has subject matter jurisdiction over Humphrey's
claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, because they arise
under federal law.
Motion for judgment on the pleadings
CRAs have moved for judgment on the pleadings as to all of
Humphrey's claims against them. The court will grant
judgment on the pleadings “[o]nly when it appears
beyond a doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any facts to
support a claim for relief and the moving party demonstrates
that there are no material issues of fact to be
resolved.” Moss v. Martin, 473 F.3d 694, 698
(7th Cir. 2007). The court reviews motions for judgment on
the pleadings under the same standard as motions to dismiss
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, although under Rule 12(c) the court considers all
pleadings, not just the complaint. N. Ind. Gun &
Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. City of S. Bend, 163 F.3d 449,
452 (7th Cir. 1998). “The essence of the motion is not
that the plaintiff has pleaded insufficient facts, it is that
even assuming all of her facts are accurate, she has no legal
claim.” Brown v. Pick 'N Save Food Stores,
138 F.Supp.2d 1133, 1136-37 (E.D. Wis. 2001) (citing
Payton v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Med.
Ctr., 184 F.3d 623, 627 (7th Cir. 1999)).
we turn to the merits, Humphrey requests oral argument on the
pending 12(c) issues. Humphrey contends that oral argument is
necessary “for the Court to determine whether
Humphrey's allegations deal with factual inaccuracies in
Trans Union's and Experian's reporting.” Dkt.
44, at 1. But as explained, Rule 12(c) considers the legal
sufficiency of Humphrey's claims as plead. The parties
had the opportunity to fully brief the salient issues, and
the court will not entertain oral argument simply to allow
Humphrey a second opportunity to make his case. Humphrey has
not explained why oral argument is necessary; he reiterates
his Rule 12(c) arguments and states that “Trans Unions
and Experian should not be permitted the chance to win
dismissal without defending their errant ...