In re Christa L. Peterson

Case Type:
Case Status:
No. 2863 (8th Circuit, Aug 16,2022) Published
8th Circuit affirmed ruling of District Court (D. Minn.) granting defendant's motion for summary based on lack of genuine issue of material fact that plaintiff was not damaged by plaintiff.
Procedural context:
After debtor-plaintiff obtained chapter 7 discharge, debtor-plaintiff sued defendant for violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act. District Court (D. Minn.) granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Debtor-plaintiff appealed to 8th Circuit.
Peterson filed a Chapter 7 petition on March 25, 2019. Her bankruptcy schedules listed a Southpoint Federal Credit Union credit card as an unsecured nonpriority claim of $2,349. The bankruptcy court entered a discharge order a little over three months later. On August 30, 2019, Peterson obtained a credit report from Experian. Though the report correctly noted that Peterson had received a discharge, Experian still listed the credit card debt with an outstanding balance of $2,481. The report also indicated that the account was 90 days late and “[o]pen[] $214 past due as of Jul[y] 2019.” By October 2019, Experian had updated the account to accurately reflect as discharged in bankruptcy with a zero balance. In February 2020, Peterson sued Experian for purportedly violating 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) by neglecting to “maintain reasonable procedures to ensure debts that are derogatory prior to a consumer’s bankruptcy filing do not continue to report balances owing or past due amounts when those debts are almost certainly discharged in bankruptcy.” Peterson sought damages resulting from credit denials, a lower credit rating, and emotional distress. Experian moved for summary judgment, defending its procedures as reasonable and asserting Peterson lacked proof of actual damages. The district court granted the motion on the damages issue and dismissed the claim.
Erickson, Melloy, Kobes

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