Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case Over List of Complaints About Letter

In a case that was defended by Rick Perr and the team at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, a District Court judge in New York has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued in a class action for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in a number of ways relative to collection letters that were sent. Among the claims made by the plaintiffs were that informing the plaintiff that the defendant was not obligated to renew an offer made in the letter would confuse a least sophisticated consumer into thinking that it was not obligated to accept disputes, that the dispute notification in the letter was confusing because it contained two different addresses, that asking for a downpayment on a settlement offer and then saying the balance was due in 30 days was open to multiple interpretations of when the 30 days expires, and that the validation notice was “buried” because it was on the reverse side of the letter.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Rajkumar and Kim v. FBCS can be accessed by clicking here.

While I’m not a lawyer, I think it is a good sign for the defendant when the judge needs significantly less space to articulate his position why he is granting the motion to dismiss than he needed to recite the background and the claims being made, which is the case here. Judge Andrew Carter of the District Court for the Southern District of New York makes short work of the plaintiffs’ claims, relying on a ruling last August by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Dillard v. FBCS. In that case, which addressed “identical claims arising from a substantially similar debt collection letter,” Judge Matsumoto referred to the claims as “nitpicks” that do not rise to the level of an FDCPA violation.

“The Court sees no reason to depart from Judge Matsumoto’s conclusion that ‘[n]othing about the collection letter at issue here leads to the conclusion that the recipient would be duped into validating a debt she did not owe’ and that ‘Plaintiff’s allegations amount to cherry-picking various portions of the letter, presenting them in a complaint deprived of context, and hoping something will stick,’ ” Judge Carter wrote in granting the motion to dismiss.

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