WDWI Judge Dismisses FDCPA Case for Lack of Standing

A District Court judge in Wisconsin has dismissed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case for lack of standing, following a ruling in a similar case that was issued recently by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Fansler v. Messerli & Kramer, LVNV Funding can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff sued a collection law firm after receiving a letter in reference to an unpaid debt. The plaintiff alleged that the letter violated the FDCPA because it did not clearly identify the current creditor to whom the debt was owed. But the plaintiff alleged that LVNV was the successor in interest to his debt, because the letter informed the plaintiff that LVNV was the “successor in interest to Synchrony Bank regarding the collection of the above balance” and indicated that all payments should be made to LVNV.

When asked by the Court to show cause why the case should not be dismissed, the plaintiff claimed he was afraid to make a payment in case he paid the wrong party or paid someone who was not the creditor. But, in applying the ruling from Markakos v. Medicredit, Judge William Conley of the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin dismissed the case because the plaintiff claimed no other injury other than being confused about whom he needed to pay. But since there is no indication that the defendants intend to pursue the plaintiff for not making a payment on the debt, the plaintiff ultimately lacks standing to sue, Judge Conley ruled. Even if there was some injury, the letter in question “clearly stated” to whom the payment needed to be made, which suggests that any injury is “self-inflicted,” Judge Conley wrote.

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