Michelle Bourdelais brought a defamation
claim in the Richmond Division of the Eastern District of Virginia against
Chase Bank and Chase Home Finance, based on Chase's alleged reporting of
inaccurate information about the status of her mortgage payments to consumer
reporting agencies. Chase moved to dismiss the claim, arguing that it was preempted
by the Fair
Credit Reporting Act. Judge Henry E. Hudson denied
the motion, allowing the claim to proceed.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") contains
two seemingly conflicting sections. Section 1681t(b)(1)(F) appears to preempt
all state laws regarding the liability of credit reporting agencies, whereas §
1681h(e) preempts only certain types of common law actions and then only under
certain circumstances. The court noted that although the Fourth Circuit has not
addressed the issue, seven of nine district courts in the Fourth Circuit have
reconciled this conflict by using the "statutory approach" and
holding that §1681t(b)(1)(F) only applies to state statutory claims and §
1681h(e) only addresses state common law claims.
Read the rest of the article at the Virginia
Defamation Law Blog.
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