A defendant has filed a motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiff does not have standing to sue because she did not suffer any damages when she received a collection letter offering to settle the debt for less than the full amount owed because she did not take any action after receiving the letter.
A copy of the filing, in the case of Johnson v. I.C. System can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a collection letter that offered to settle the balance on the debt for 50% of what was owed. The plaintiff claimed that the letter was misleading and deceptive because it did not clarify what would happen with the remaining balance if the plaintiff accepted the offer and whether it would be collected by another agency in the future, or that the account would be reinstated upon payment being received.
But, the defendant argued in its motion, the plaintiff never claimed to have been misled or that she relied on the letter. Instead, “she posits a myriad of ‘could’ves’ or ‘would’ves’,” according to the defendant. “And her sole attempt at describing her damages merely contends that ‘as a result of Defendant’s deceptive, misleading and unfair debt collection practice, Plaintiff has been damaged.’ “
Also hurting the plaintiff’s case is the fact that she never attempted to contact the defendant after receiving the letter, the defendant noted. Instead, the plaintiff contacted an attorney and then filed this lawsuit approximately six months later. The plaintiff “was not at risk — let alone substantial risk — of making payment,” the defendant claimed.