Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case Due to Lack of Standing

Saying that you expended “time, money, and effort” trying to identify what to do when you are confused as to whom the original creditor was after receiving a collection letter is not enough for a plaintiff to have standing to sue, ruled a District Court judge in Maryland, who has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action lawsuit.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Whitfield v. Contract Callers et al can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant. The letter identified Diverse Funding as the new creditor to whom the debt was owed. The letter further read, “The original creditor was . [sic] You may recognize this as your . [sic]” The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated 1692e of the FDCPA because the collector allegedly engaged in abusive, deceptive, or unfair collection practices. The plaintiff claimed to have expended time, money, and effort, but ultimately took no action to address her confusion. “…it is not plausible on its face that deciding to do nothing in response to a confusing letter caused Plaintiff to expend time and money and caused her emotional harm,” wrote Judge Richard D. Bennett of the District Court for the District of Maryland.

By ultimately making no allegations that “she did anything in response to the letter” other than to try and determine the proper course of action, the plaintiff failed to allege that she suffered a tangible or intangible hard sufficient to meet the standard of a concrete harm under Article III, ruled Judge Bennett, especially when taking into consideration the Supreme Court’s ruling in TransUnion v. Ramirez.

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