Singh v. Discover Bank

Decision Date04 March 2015
Docket NumberCase No. 14-cv-05496-JCS
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of California
PartiesSOMRAJ SINGH, Plaintiff, v. DISCOVER BANK, et al., Defendants.
I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Somraj Singh brings this pro se action under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq., the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1681x, and state law, against Defendants Discover Bank, Equifax Information Services, LLC ("Equifax"), Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian"), Trans Union LLC ("Trans Union"), and John Does 1-25. Having previously granted Plaintiff's Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, the Court now considers whether Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), which requires dismissal of an in forma pauperis complaint that is (1) frivolous or malicious, (2) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or (3) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Marks v. Solcum, 98 F.3d 494, 495 (9th Cir. 1996). Plaintiff has consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). For the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's complaint in part with leave to amend. The Case Management Conference set for March 20, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. is vacated.

II. THE COMPLAINT
A. Factual Allegations

1. 0022 Credit Card

In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on November 1, 1999, Defendant Discover Bank issued a credit card in his name, ending with number 0022, with a credit limit of $6,000.00 ("the 0022 Credit Card"). Complaint ¶ 12. According to Plaintiff, he did not exceed his credit limit and made timely monthly payments. Id. ¶ 13. As of January 2003, he alleges, the balance on his credit card was under $6,000.00. Id. ¶ 14. At that time, "due to a family and then financial crises, Plaintiff stopped living at his usual place of residence and started getting telephonic calls in violation of Federal Debt Collection Act." Id. Nonetheless, Plaintiff alleges, he "always paid the suggested monthly payment to the . . . best of his capability without asking the balance amount." Id. Plaintiff alleges that on April 4, 2003, his marriage was dissolved and he "totally moved out from his usual place and stayed from place to place" but that he "did his best" to make his monthly payments on the 0022 Credit Card "whenever it was possible." Id. ¶ 15.

According to Plaintiff, in February 2005, when he "came to meet his children, he was surprised to have a statement from Defendant Discover that his $6000 credit limit card was showing an outstanding balance of $19,109.56." Id. ¶ 16 & Ex. A (Credit Card Statement reflecting "previous balance" of $19,109.56 and "new balance" of $19,593.66). Plaintiff alleges that on or after February 25, 2005, he called Discover Bank on "repeated occasion and asked about the proof of purchases above his prescribed limit of $6000" but to date, Discover Bank has not provided him with such proof of purchases. Id. ¶ 17.

Plaintiff alleges that he lost his job in July 2005 and then, due to the recession, moved to India in October 2007. Id. ¶ 18. He further alleges that between October 2007 and August 2012, he remained out of the country "most of the time[]." Id. According to Plaintiff, he returned to the United States in November 2012 and learned that Discover Bank had executed liens with Alameda County Recorder's Office and that the liens were appearing on his credit report as two entries, for $20,925.00 and for $26,732.00. Id. ¶ 19.

Plaintiff alleges that on or after November 15, 2012, he contacted Discover Bankrepeatedly asking for details of transactions over his credit limit, but Discover Bank did not provide any details; nor did it "remove negative notations from Plaintiff's credit report." Id. ¶ 20 & Ex. B.

Plaintiff alleges that on March 12, 2013, he contacted Discover Bank but that Discover Bank again did not provide billing statements or proof of purchases. Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff further alleges that Discover Bank did confirm that it filed a lawsuit against Plaintiff on February 27, 2007 and "recorded negative notation on Plaintiff's credit reports for $20,924.87 (charge off) and a default judgment was entered against Plaintiff on April 26, 2006 in the amount of $26,732.23." Id. Plaintiff alleges that on or after April 2013, he contacted Discover Bank on "repeated occasions and requested to remove the negative notations from his credit report" on the basis that they were in violation of the FCRA. Id. ¶ 22.

According to Plaintiff, "[o]n April 24, 2014, Discover Bank "again executed a money judgment of $48,120.07 and took away everything" from Plaintiff's bank accounts. Id. ¶ 23. Plaintiff alleges that Discover Bank reported, and continues to report, that Plaintiff owes money to it but that "Plaintiff does not owe money to Defendant." Id. ¶ 24.

Plaintiff alleges that "Defendant Discover reported and violated the laws pertaining to notification of delinquency, improper process of serving summons and erred in initiating legal action against Plaintiff that is including the lawsuit and money judgment." Id. ¶ 25. Plaintiff further alleges that it has notified Discover Bank in writing on May 2, 2014 and May 5, 2015 that it is in violation of the FCRA and the FDCPA but that Discover Bank has "completely failed to resolve the issues" alleged in the Complaint. Id. ¶ 26.

According to Plaintiff, Discover Bank violated the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681i, by failing to provide the following information within the "specified period":

a) Date of Credit Card Issued;

b) Amount of Credit limit assigned;

c) First Date of Default by Plaintiff;

d) Balance amount at the time of default;

e) Proofs of all Purchase above $6,000 ; f) Date of Reporting Collection Agency;

g) Date of Hiring Attorney;

h) Date of Servicing Summons;

i) Address and name who received summons;

j) Proof of First Class Mail (summons);

k) Copy of Signature person received Summons;

1) Proof of mail and Service of Judgment.

Id. ¶ 27.

2. 6066 Credit Card

Plaintiff alleges that on December 1, 2013, Discover Bank issued another credit card in his name, with numbers ending 6066 and a credit limit of $800. Id. ¶ 28. According to Plaintiff, on May 14, 2014, Discover Bank sent him a letter stating that the balance on the account was $48,272.97. Id. ¶ 29 & Ex. F (May 14, 2014 Letter). Plaintiff alleges that Discover Bank "is falsely representing amount of Plaintiffs debt and further overshadowed and obscured the disclosures required by 15 USC § 1692(a)(2)." Id. ¶ 30. Plaintiff alleges that Discover Bank "[a]gain . . . has failed to provide information, how this huge balance of $48,272.97 came up for a credit card with limit of just $800." Id. ¶ 32. Plaintiff further alleges that "[a]gain Defendant is using unfair and unconscionable means to collect" a debt "which is not owed by Plaintiff and is not expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law." Id. ¶ 33. According to Plaintiff, this constitutes a "clear-cut violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692(f)(1)." Id. Plaintiff further alleges that this conduct violates the "FCRA, FDCPA and other laws." Id.

3. Equifax, Experian and Trans Union

Plaintiff alleges that on November 2012, he contacted Defendants Equifax, Experian and Trans Union ("the Credit Reporting Agency Defendants") and "reported various negative notations, wrong, irrelevant, or inaccurate information of accounts being reported on Plaintiffs Credit reports for deletion." Id. ¶ 34. Plaintiff alleges that these Defendants were "not concerned and failed to delete all negative notations, wrong, irrelevant, or inaccurate information of accounts pertaining to Plaintiff by performing a reasonable investigation with Defendant Discover Bank . . .in accordance with the FCRA." Id. ¶ 35. Plaintiff alleges that "[a]lternatively, Defendants Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union did not properly notify Defendant Discover Bank and, as part of this failure, did not include all relevant information provided by Plaintiff in its notification of Defendant Discover Bank . . . in accordance with the FCRA." Id. ¶ 36. According to Plaintiff, if the Credit Reporting Agency Defendants "had properly investigated, then Defendant Discover Bank . . . would have been deleted and Plaintiff would not have suffered credit due." Id. ¶ 37.

Plaintiff further alleges that the Credit Reporting Agency Defendants have a policy of favoring paying customers such as Discover Bank by "merely 'parrot[ting]' whatever their customer . . . has told them to say" and "parking" false information on consumers' credit reports in order to force the consumer to pay off debts they do not owe. Id. ¶¶ 40-48. That is what occurred here, Plaintiff alleges. Id. ¶ 48.

B. Claims
1. Count I: Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process

Plaintiff asserts a claim for Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process against Discover Bank based on the allegations that it instituted a lawsuit against Plaintiff without a reasonable basis and with no intention of proving its case. Id. ¶¶ 62-63. Instead, Plaintiff alleges, Discover Bank maliciously filed the case in order to "extort money" from Plaintiff by obtaining a default judgment, which would allow it to garnish Plaintiff's bank accounts and obtain money to which it was not entitled. Id. ¶¶ 65-68.

2. Count II: Constructive Fraud

Plaintiff asserts a claim for Construct Fraud against Discover Bank based on the allegation that it "induced him into an agreement with malice intent to alter plaintiff's position to cause injury or risk." Id. ¶ 73. Plaintiff further alleges in support of this claim that Discover Bank "took full advantage of circumstances with knowledge that [Plaintiff] was in family and financial crises and living out of country." Id. ¶ 74. In addition, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant "concealed material facts in order to induce, including but not limited...

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    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of California
    • 13 Noviembre 2015
    ...information on her credit reports, she adequately alleges a violation of part (E). See, e.g., Singh v. Discover Bank, No. 14-cv-05496-JCS, 2015 WL 1089443, at *6 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 4, 2015) (finding that the plaintiff adequately alleged a claim under FCRA because, in part, she alleged that the......

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