Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case Over Call to Work Phone, Lack of Response to Validation Request

A District Court judge in Iowa has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it contacted the plaintiff at his place of employment and never received validation of the debt after he requested it from the defendant.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Dommer v. LTD Financial Services can be accessed by clicking here.

The defendant called the plaintiff’s cell phone and his desk phone at his place of employment on the same day. That day, the plaintiff said he mailed a request for debt validation to the defendant, but never received a response.

The defendant argued that making two calls on the same day does not rise to the level of an FDCPA violation, and that calling an individual at his or her place of employment was not a violation either. While the plaintiff attempted to argue that the calls violated Section 1692b of the FDCPA, to which Judge Leonard Strand of the District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division, disagreed, Judge Strand even went as far as to say the call to the plaintiff’s place of employment did not violate Section 1692c(a)(3) of the FDCPA because the defendant did not know whether the plaintiff’s employer prohibited such calls from being received.

As for the fact that the plaintiff has not received a response to his debt validation, the defendant has not attempted to collect on the debt since making the initial calls. Judge Strand noted there is no time limit in the FDCPA for how long a collector has to respond to a validation request, so the defendant has not violated the FDCPA because it has not yet responded.

The plaintiff “has not alleged that LTD continued debt collection after he requested a verification,” Judge Strand wrote in granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss. “Therefore, he has failed to state a claim of a § 1692g(b) violation as well.”

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