Judge Denies MTD in FDCPA Case Over Collection Lawsuit

For the second time in a month, a District Court judge in Minnesota has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss as well as a motion to stay a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff alleging the defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act during the course of filing its own lawsuit against the plaintiff in an attempt to collect on an unpaid debt.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Wiley v. Portfolio Recovery Associates can be accessed by clicking here.

The defendant filed a lawsuit against the plaintiff in state court, seeking to recover an unpaid credit card debt. The plaintiff turned around and filed a suit of her own, claiming the defendant violated the FDCPA by not sending any written communication prior to filing its suit, that the entity to which the debt is owed — “Comenity Bank-Catherines” — allegedly does not exist, that it violated the terms of its 2015 settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and that it is attempting to collect in Minnesota without a proper license.

The allegations are virtually identical to those made in a separate lawsuit against the same defendant in a similar case. Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the District Court for the District of Minnesota has been assigned to both cases, and just like the first one, she disagreed with the defendant that the outcome of the original collection suit has a significant impact on the plaintiff’s arguments in her lawsuit.

“While the merits of Wiley’s FDCPA claims overlap with some of Wiley’s defenses in the state court litigation (e.g., the validity of PRA’s assignment), that overlap does not render Wiley’s FDCPA claims unfit for judicial decision,” Judge Richard Nelson wrote, echoing comments she made in the other suit.

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