Judge Grants MSJ For Defendant in FDCPA Case Over Creditor Name Reported to Credit Bureau

A District Court judge in Florida has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment after it was sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it referenced the name of a creditor that purchased the original creditor in a collection letter.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Koehler v. Waypoint Resource Group can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff obtained cable and/or internet service from a company called Bright House Networks. After the plaintiff fell behind on her payments, Bright House was purchased by Charter Communications. Charter then entered into an agreement with the defendant to collect on unpaid accounts, including that of the plaintiff. The defendant sent the plaintiff a collection letter and reported the unpaid debt to a credit bureau, which, under the instructions of the creditor, identified Charter Communications as the name of the original creditor.

The plaintiff sued, alleging that reporting the debt to the credit bureaus under the name of Charter Communications instead of Bright House Networks amounted to a false and misleading representation and unfair practice in violation of the FDCPA.

However, because several other courts have ruled that “allegations that a creditor did not follow industry standards or otherwise erroneously reported information to a CRA [are] insufficient to state a claim under the FDCPA” the judge in this case — Judge Tom Barber of the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division — denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and granted the defendant’s motion instead.

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