409 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2005), 04-3139, Westra v. Credit Control of Pinellas

Docket Nº:04-3139.
Citation:409 F.3d 825
Party Name:Dirk WESTRA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CREDIT CONTROL OF PINELLAS, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 27, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 825

409 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2005)

Dirk WESTRA, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

CREDIT CONTROL OF PINELLAS, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 04-3139.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

May 27, 2005

Argued Feb. 11, 2005.

Page 826

Larry P. Smith (argued), Krohn & Moss, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Kimberly A. Jansen (argued), Hinshaw & Culbertson, Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellee.

Before BAUER, POSNER, and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

BAUER, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-Appellant Dirk Westra appeals from the grant of summary judgment to Defendant Credit Control of Pinellas in Westra's suit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq. We affirm.

Background

Dirk Westra was the unfortunate victim of identity theft in 1999 when a former friend fraudulently opened several accounts in his name. Westra successfully disputed many of these accounts, and they were deleted from his Trans Union credit file. In August 2002, Westra received notice of an account that Credit Control was collecting on behalf of Pasco Emergency Medical Services, a company located in Florida. As Westra had never resided in Florida nor sought medical attention from this company, he mailed a dispute letter to Trans Union to inform them that the account did not belong to him. This letter included a fraud statement and information about the perpetrator of the identity theft. Trans Union generated a Consumer Dispute Verification Form (CDV) which it sent to Credit Control in October to request an investigation of the disputed account. The CDV sent to Credit Control did not make any reference to fraud or identity theft nor did it include the documentation that Westra had provided. Credit Control verified the account information as accurate and reported that the account belonged to Westra.

In November, Westra received a credit report from Trans Union that still contained the Credit Control account. He then sent a second dispute letter to Trans Union and sent a letter directly to Credit Control in December. Credit Control asked Westra for his social security number, which he provided in a letter dated December 30. In January 2003, Trans Union contacted Credit Control about the account, this time indicating that the dispute was whether the account was fraudulent. Based on this new information, Credit Control ordered a deletion of the fraudulent...

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