Judge Dismisses FDCPA Suit, But Gives Plaintiff Chance to Amend Complaint

A District Court judge in Arizona has dismissed a plaintiff’s amended complaint accusing a collector of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by reporting a debt to the credit reporting agencies that was incurred in another state and was owed by a third party with a different name and Social Security number than the plaintiff, while giving the plaintiff 30 days to file a “more carefully drafted and factually inconclusive” second amended complaint.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Taylor v. IC System can be accessed by clicking here.

After noticing an entry on his credit report, the plaintiff contacted the defendant to obtain more information. The defendant was unable to locate the defendant in its system using the plaintiff’s name or Social Security number, but did tell him that the debt was a medical debt that was incurred in Alabama and was owed by someone else with a different Social Security number. The plaintiff disputed the debt, but the defendant continued to report the debt and failed to note the dispute on the account.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff had no proof that it was the defendant’s fault that the entry showed up on his credit report. Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson of the District Court for the District of Arizona, noted that “it is entirely possible ICS communicated information regarding the Debt in reference to someone else and a credit reporting agency incorrectly designated the Debt as owed by Taylor, with ICS subsequently confirming the erroneous designation.” Such an inference does not “plausibly suggest a claim against” the defendant and Judge Jorgenson dismissed the claim.

Even though the plaintiff had already filed an amended complaint, Judge Jorgensen gave him another chance to file another amended complaint because “the filing was without benefit of the Court providing reasons for the dismissal to allow Taylor to make an intelligent decision whether to file an amended complaint. The Court finds a more carefully drafted and factually inconclusive complaint may be able to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

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