Judge Partially Grants Defense’s Motion in FDCPA Case Over Undisputed Debt

A Magistrate judge in California has partially granted a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case in which the plaintiff claimed the defendant failed to report to the credit reporting agencies that the debt in question was no longer being disputed, ruling that the communications made to the CRAs were not “in connection with the collection of any debt.”

A copy of the ruling in the case of Samano v. LVNV Funding can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff sent the defendant a letter indicating that the debt in question was no longer being disputed, but the defendant has allegedly continued to report the debt to the credit reporting agencies as disputed. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated Sections 1692e and 1692e(8) of the FDCPA as well as sections of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the Rosenthal and CCRAA claims, and the defendant sought judgment on the FDCPA claims.

While ruling that the communications were not in connection with the collection of any debt, Judge Sheila K. Oberto of the District Court for the Eastern District of California nonetheless opted to give the plaintiff a chance to submit an amended complaint to cure the deficiencies addressed in her order.

The defendant also attempted to argue that there was no “material” violation of the FDCPA, but at this stage of the proceedings, Judge Oberto ruled that the defendant “may be held liable for failing to change the account status from disputed to undisputed and continuing to report those accounts to the credit reporting agencies as such.”

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