Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case Over Letters Sent to Wrong Person

A District Court judge in Arizona has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by attempting to collect a debt that the plaintiff said he did not owe, largely because the plaintiff never submitted the documentation requested by the plaintiff and there was nothing wrong with the attempts to collect made by the defendant.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Thompson v. Resurgent Capital Services can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff filed suit after receiving a collection letter from the defendant. The plaintiff was allegedly confused by the letter because he purportedly never applied for an account with the original creditor. The plaintiff contacted the defendant and was told to send an affidavit to a different collector, which the plaintiff agreed to do.

The plaintiff never sent the affidavit, and later received a collection letter from a different collector attempting to collect on the same debt. The defendant sent the plaintiff another letter, indicating it needed a police report indicating fraud, an affidavit, or other documentation supporting his claims that the debt was not his. The plaintiff never submitted this information. The defendant began reporting the debt to the credit reporting agencies, at which point the plaintiff filed suit.

While the plaintiff alleged the defendant use false, misleading, or deceptive representations in attempting to collect, he did not state what language in the letters was misleading. The letters themselves appear to be what was false or misleading because the plaintiff claims the debt belonged to someone else. Those allegations, noted Judge Scott H. Rash of the District Court for the District of Arizona, are “insufficient” to support the plaintiff’s claim. “… an allegation that the debt sought to be collected is not owed is insufficient to state a claim for false and misleading practices under the FCDPA,” Judge Rash wrote, adding that claiming that a letter was sent to the wrong person also falls under the insufficiency banner.

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