Impermissible purpose not shown in accessing credit report.


Byline: Barry Bridges

A federal judge has rejected a plaintiff's action against several defendants for allegedly accessing his credit report without a permissible purpose.

In his lawsuit, Michael P. Tatro said that numerous debt collection and purchasing companies violated his privacy, as well as the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and state laws pertaining to identity fraud, when they submitted his name, birth date and Social Security number to Equifax Information Services, a consumer reporting agency.

Tatro denied that he was a customer or judgment debtor of the defendants and did not grant permission for them to pull his report.

After his suit was dismissed for failure to state a claim, Tatro brought the present motions, seeking to vacate the dismissal order under Federal Civil Rule 60(b)(6) and permission to file an amended complaint under Civil Rule 15(a)(2).

But U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell Jr. denied the plaintiff's requested relief on both fronts.

The premise underlying the motion to vacate was that the court committed error by not adopting the reasoning of the 9th Circuit's 2010 decision in Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Association, which held that credit checks under 15 U.S.C. 1681b(a)(3)(A), concerning the permissible purposes under which a consumer reporting agency may furnish a credit report, are authorized only when the person whose credit is being checked is a participant in the transaction.

The problem for Tatro, however, was that the defendants accessed his report under the authority of a different portion of the statute.

"[E]ven if the court were to adopt the rationale of Pintos, Mr. Tatro does not aver sufficient facts to establish to a plausible...

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