Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case over Calls Made Post-BK Filing

A District Court judge in Illinois has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case, ruling that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue after being called three times by the defendant following the plaintiff filing for bankruptcy protection.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Tudela v. MediCredit can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in January 2021. An automatic stay on the collection of all debts was put in place while the bankruptcy filing was pending, but the defendant allegedly called the plaintiff at least three times in an attempt to collect on the debt. The plaintiff filed suit, accusing the defendant of violating three counts of the FDCPA.

The defendant filed the motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff did not take any specific action to her detriment as a result of the defendant’s actions.

The plaintiff attempted to use Lavallee v. Med-1 Solutions to document her standing, arguing that a “complete disregard for the provisions of the statute” automatically confers standing to sue. But, noted Judge Harry D. Leinenweber of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the calls made by the defendant did not induce the plaintiff to do anything, “nor did they prevent her from acting in a manner related to the debt that she otherwise would have.”

Judge Leinenweber also followed a Supreme Court edict that “ordinary civil courts are not the proper authority to apply the FDCPA in a bankruptcy context,” dismissing the plaintiff’s argument.

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