In a case defended by the team at Martin Lyons Watts Morgan, a state court judge in Illinois has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case over the use of a vendor to print and mail collection letters. This is the second different state court judge to rule that Hunstein cases are not the type of communications that the FDCPA was enacted to prevent.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Barry v. Credit Control can be accessed by clicking here.
Like many state court rulings, the one being discussed here contains none of the background information that cases in federal court often include. So while the particulars of the case aren’t spelled out, given the type of complaint, it’s safe to assume that the plaintiff received a collection letter (or more than one) from the defendant and filed suit, alleging that the defendant’s use of a vendor to print and mail collection letters is a violation of the FDCPA because it allegedly discloses the existence of a debt to a third party.
Judge Thomas W. Murphy of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois’s Fifth Municipal District agreed with his cohort, Judge Eve M. Reilly, who ruled in Stallworth v. Terrill Outsourcing back in March that the FDCPA outlaws communications about the existence of a debt between collectors and “any person,” and does not mention companies, like letter vendors.
“Here, the Court sees no difference between the bulk mail house filings then that of the actual Post Office who is carrying this third party mail, the same notion can be applied to both,” Judge Murphy wrote. “The Defendant here did not practice any abusive behavior for the collection of the debt in which 15 U.S.C 1692c(b) was designed to protect against.”