A District Court judge in Michigan has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss as well as a motion for summary judgment, but has left the door open for the defendant to refile a summary judgment motion once discovery has concluded in a case in which the plaintiff is accusing the defendant of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by attaching the wrong documents in a lawsuit filed by the defendant to recover an unpaid debt.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Loewe v. Weltman Weinberg & Reis can be accessed by clicking here.
The defendant filed two lawsuits against the plaintiff to recover on unpaid student loans. In both lawsuits, the defendant attached applications for the same loan, instead of attaching the second application when it filed the second lawsuit. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the mistake was a violation of Sections 1692e and 1692f of the FDCPA by allegedly using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect on a debt, and allegedly using false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means in connection with the collection of a debt.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff lacked standing to sue and for failure to state a claim. Finding it plausible that the defendant violated the FDCPA, Judge Robert Cleland of the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, denied the motion to dismiss.
Judge Cleland also denied a motion for summary judgment from the defendant, but said that while the defendant has “what appear to be strong arguments that [its] actions were not misleading, unfair or unconscionable, or an attempt to collect on a loan not expressly authorized,” it was too premature because more discovery was needed. The defendant may also be entitled to the FDCPA’s Bona Fide Error defense, Judge Cleland noted.