9th Circ. FCRA Ruling Highlights Furnishers' Role in Disputes

7 minute read | May.19.2022

In recent years, consumers have raised a variety of arguments to dispute negative information on their consumer reports — in some instances, raising not only factual questions about the existence or amount of a debt, but also more complex questions about whether a debt is legally permitted under state law.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires furnishers of information to conduct an investigation of any dispute, but does that require a furnisher to sit in judgment of a consumer's legal claims as to the validity of the debt?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit answered this question earlier this week in Marshall Gross v. CitiMortgage Inc., holding that if a consumer disputes a debt on the basis that it has been extinguished by state law the creditor must research this legal dispute.

Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.