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Pearson v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division

May 9, 2019

JOANNA PEARSON
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., et al.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMOS L. MAZZANT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Freedom Mortgage Corporation's (“Freedom”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint for Failure to State a Claim (Dkt. #48) and Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.'s (“Chase”) Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(6) (Dkt. #58). Having considered the motions and the relevant pleadings, the Court finds that the motions should be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed her Original Complaint on August 31, 2018 (Dkt. #1). Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint on October 18, 2018 (Dkt. #40). Plaintiff alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, against Defendants Experian Information Solutions Inc. (“Experian”); Equifax Information Services LLC (“Equifax”); Trans Union LLC (“Trans Union”); Chase; and Freedom and violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. § 2601-2617, against Chase and Freedom.

         Plaintiff settled her claims with Equifax, Trans Union, and Chase and Plaintiff stipulated to the dismissal of these defendants (Dkt. #74; Dkt. #85; Dkt. #86; Dkt. #88; Dkt. #91). As a result, the Court dismissed Equifax, Trans Union, and Chase (Dkt. #89; Dkt. #90; Dkt. #92). Accordingly, Plaintiff's only remaining claims are her FCRA claim against Experian and her FCRA and RESPA claims against Freedom.[1]

         On November 1, 2018, Freedom filed its motion to dismiss (Dkt. #48). Plaintiff filed a response to the motion on November 15, 2018 (Dkt. #56). Freedom filed a reply in support of the motion on November 26, 2018 (Dkt. #59).

         On November 16, 2018, Chase filed its motion to dismiss (Dkt. #58). Plaintiff filed a response to the motion on November 30, 2018 (Dkt. #62). Chase filed a reply in support of the motion on December 7, 2018 (Dkt. #63).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that each claim in a complaint include a “short and plain statement . . . showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Each claim must include enough factual allegations “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion allows a party to move for dismissal of an action when the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and view those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Bowlby v. City of Aberdeen, 681 F.3d 215, 219 (5th Cir. 2012). The Court may consider “the complaint, any documents attached to the complaint, and any documents attached to the motion to dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the complaint.” Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010). The Court must then determine whether the complaint states a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. “‘A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the [C]ourt to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'” Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the [C]ourt to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court established a two-step approach for assessing the sufficiency of a complaint in the context of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. First, the Court should identify and disregard conclusory allegations, for they are “not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 664. Second, the Court “consider[s] the factual allegations in [the complaint] to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief.” Id. “This standard ‘simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary claims or elements.'” Morgan v. Hubert, 335 Fed.Appx. 466, 470 (5th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). This evaluation will “be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         Thus, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”' Id. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

         ANALYSIS

         Freedom contends the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's FCRA and RESPA claims against Freedom as Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as the FCRA and RESPA do not apply to business loans (Dkt. #48 at p. 1).[2] The “FCRA does not apply to business transactions, even those involving consumers and their consumer credit information.” Yeager v. TRW, Inc., 961 F.Supp. 161, 162 (E.D. Tex. 1997); see also Hall v. Phenix Investigations, Inc., 3:14-CV-0665-D, 2014 WL 5697856, at *9 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 5, 2014) (citing Matise v. Trans Union Corp., 1998 WL 872511, *2 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 30, 1998)). The RESPA “does not apply to credit transaction involving extensions of credit . . . primarily for business, commercial, or agricultural purposes ...


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