The CFPB recently filed its first amicus brief in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case. This brief, like the amicus brief the CFPB filed in August 2013 in the Seventh Circuit in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case, was filed jointly with the FTC.
The CFPB filed the latest brief in Moran v. The Screening Pros, LLC, a case on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The brief urges the Ninth Circuit to reverse the district court’s dismissal of a consumer’s claim that a consumer reporting agency violated the FCRA by including a criminal charge on his credit report that antedated the report by more than seven years. In addition to the FCRA’s restrictions on the periods for reporting specific categories of information, the FCRA includes a general provision that prohibits the reporting of an “adverse item of information…which antedates the report by more than seven years.”
The district court found the defendant did not violate the FCRA by including a May 2000 drug charge in a February 2010 consumer report because the charge was not dismissed until 2004. According to the district court, the FCRA’s seven-year reporting period ran from the date of disposition of a criminal charge.
In its brief, the CFPB argues that, for a dismissed criminal charge, the seven-year period begins on the date of the charge, not the date of the dismissal. To support that argument, the CFPB relies on the plain language of the statute and the 1998 FCRA amendments that eliminated a prior provision that expressly specified that the reporting period for records of arrest, indictment or conviction ran from the date of disposition.