A District Court judge in Louisiana has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss and denied a motion for summary judgment was premature in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case over an alleged disputed debt that the defendant claims it did not receive notification for.
A copy of the ruling in the case of McCarthy v. Receivable Recovery Services can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff claims to have sent a letter to the defendant disputing debts that the defendant was attempting to collect. The plaintiff claims that a tracking number provided by the United States Postal Service confirms that the letter was received by the defendant. The defendant claims to have never received the letter. The allegedly disputed debts were reported to credit reporting agencies, but the disputes were not noted. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated Sections 1692e(8) of the FDCPA for failing to communicate that a debt was disputed.
Judge Michael J. Juneau of the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana made short work of the defendant’s motion to dismiss the suit, ruling that the fact that the disputes were not reported to the credit bureaus is enough to demonstrate “sufficient factual material” to plausibly claim that the defendant violated the FDCPA.
As for the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, Judge Juneau ruled that the motion was too premature, and that more discovery was needed.
The defendant also attempted to argue it was entitled to the FDCPA’s bona fide error defense, that the plaintiff’s choice not to pay the fee to have her dispute letter certified does not mean the Court could presume the letter was not received, and that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue because no actual harm was incurred.
Judge Juneau ordered the parties to proceed to the discovery phase of the case.