Second Circuit Holds That Consumer Lacked Standing to Sue Bank for Alleged TILA Violations

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to grant a bank’s motion for summary judgment, holding, inter alia, that the consumer lacked standing to bring the claims under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”).  See Strubel v. Comenity Bank, 2016 WL 6892197 (2d Cir. Nov. 23, 2016).  There, the plaintiff opened a credit card account and the bank provided her with an agreement in which it disclosed certain consumer rights. The consumer then filed the action against the bank, arguing that the disclosure violated TILA by failing to clearly disclose:  “(1) cardholders wishing to stop payment on an automatic payment plan had to satisfy certain obligations; (2) the bank was statutorily obliged not only to acknowledge billing error claims within 30 days of receipt but also to advise of any corrections made during that time; (3) certain identified rights pertained only to disputed credit card purchases for which full payment had not yet been made, and did not apply to cash advances or checks that accessed credit card accounts; and (4) consumers dissatisfied with a credit card purchase had to contact [the bank] in writing or electronically.”  The district court granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed. 

On appeal, the bank raised the issue of the consumer’s standing in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016).  The Second Circuit found that the plaintiff lacked the standing to assert her claims for the alleged violations relating to the automatic payment plan and 30-day response to billing errors because the bank did not offer automatic payment plans at the time it issued the disclosure and because the plaintiff conceded that she never had any billing errors.  Therefore, “because [the plaintiff] fails to demonstrate sufficient risk of harm to a concrete TILA interest from [the bank’s] alleged failure to give notice . . . she lacks standing to pursue these bare procedural violations and, thus, these TILA claims must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.”  The court then dismissed the other two claims for which the plaintiff did have standing because it found that the alleged disclosure deficiencies were insubstantial and not required under TILA.

For a copy of the decision, please contact Michael O’Donnell at or Michael Crowley at