Morgan v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc., No. 20-1745 (4th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Morgan’s credit reports reflected purported overdue home loan payments. Morgan wrote to his loan servicer: Please find a report ... stating as of 10/13/15 I owe Caliber $16,806[.] [A]lso on 9/20/16 I called Caliber and talked to Thomas ID#27662[.] [H]e stated I owe $30,656.89 and the $630.00 on my record is late charges. Can you please correct your records[?] Your office reporting the wrong amount to the credit agency is effecting [sic] my employment. Morgan included a copy of a credit report. Morgan alleges the defendant continued to report adverse loan information.
When Johnson fell behind on her mortgage payments, the defendant reported to credit reporting agencies. While seeking a loan modification, Johnson sent a letter, challenging the existence of “title issues” and requesting “a reasonable investigation,” correction of the “errors,” and “an accounting of all sums you have imposed." The parties ultimately finalized a loan modification but in the interim, the defendant continued reporting adverse information.
Johnson and Morgan filed a putative class action. Qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. 2601 or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulation X, trigger an obligation to cease providing adverse information to credit reporting agencies. The Fourth Circuit reversed the dismissal of Morgan’s claim but affirmed the dismissal of Johnson’s claim. Where a written correspondence to a loan servicer provides sufficient information to identify the account and an alleged servicing error, such correspondence is a QWR; if it merely challenges a contractual issue, it does not implicate a servicing issue and is not a QWR. Johnson’s correspondence did not concern the servicing of her account.