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Yet another FDCPA case met its demise in Florida thanks to the 11th Circuit’s Trichell decision. As you may recall, Trichell held that a plaintiff lacks standing to bring an FDCPA case unless he shows how he himself was harmed by the allegedly violative practices. Grandstanding about potential harm simply won’t do. In short? No harm, no foul.

The progeny of Trichell keep coming. Last week, we talked about the Cooper case, where the 11th Cir. found that a consumer doesn’t have standing to bring an overshadowing claim if she didn’t intend to dispute the debt or accept any of the payment options provided. The week prior, we discussed Daniels, where M.D. Georgia found that plaintiff lacked standing because he failed to allege how he was actually harmed from a litigation notice that did not include internally-referenced courtesy enclosures.

This week in the Hill decision, S.D. Fla. dismissed an FDCPA claim—alleging that a bankruptcy proof of claim that listed the amount owed “in principal only” was misleading—because the consumer failed to allege any kind of injury to himself. An allegation that unsophisticated consumers might have to use resources to object to the proof of claim did not suffice. And, like in Trichell, the risk of harm was gone by the time the FDCPA suit was filed.

Yowza, this thing is catching on like wildfire.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,
The iA Team

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U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal

Cooper v. Atl. Credit & Fin. Inc.

Date:July 28, 2020
Jurisdiction:Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Jurisdiction; Standing
Defendant sent two collection letters to consumer. The first letter contained the validation notice language required by the FDCPA. The second letter, sent within the 30-day validation window, stated that the account was being forwarded to a lawyer for possible litigation and gave two payment opt... [read more]

Zablocki v. Merchants Credit Guide Co.

Date:July 28, 2020
Jurisdiction:Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Credit Reporting; False/Deceptive/Misleading; Unfair and Unconscionable Means
Consumers received medical services on several different days and defendant reported each debt separately on consumers' credit reports. Consumers appealed dismissal of their complaint, but 7th. Cir. affirmed. After consumers filed the complaint, 7th. Cir. found in another case that reporting debt... [read more]

Rhone v. Med. Bus. Bureau, LLC

Date:Feb. 7, 2019
Jurisdiction:Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Credit Reporting; False/Deceptive/Misleading; Misrepresentation
Patient's physical therapy provider billed her for each session. Insurance covered all but the copay, which patient failed to pay. The provider placed the unpaid amounts with a debt collector, who credit reported each unpaid copay as a separate debt. Plaintiff sued, alleging that this practice wa... [read more]


U.S. District Courts

Listed alphabetically by state.

Kelly v. Ocwen Loan Servicing

Date:July 31, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Statute:FDCPA, State Law
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Definition of Debt Collector; FDCPA Definitions (General); Payment Processing Fees
Consumer alleged defendant's payment processing fees were unlawful to collect as there was no contract or law allowing them. Defendant moved to dismiss and court granted. Court found the payment processing fees do not constitute "debt" under FDCPA or state consumer protection act—as they are incu... [read more]

Hill v. Resurgent Capital Servs., L.P.

Date:July 31, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Bankruptcy; Civil Litigation Procedure; False/Deceptive/Misleading; Pleading Standard; Standing
Consumer alleged that defendant's BK proof of claim for $1,150.04 "in principal only" was false or misleading. Defendant moved to dismiss and court granted. Court found that consumer failed to allege any kind of injury—not even an abstract or intangible one—and consumer's argument that "unsophist... [read more]

Molinari v. Fin. Asset Mgmt. Sys.

Date:July 29, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Statute:FDCPA, TCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Class Action Procedure; Class Certification
Plaintiff allegedly received more than 100 calls to his cell phone over a two-month period and multiple direct-to-voicemail messages because defendant's skip-tracing practices identified the number as a way to reach the actual debtor, plaintiff's wife. Consumer moved for class certification, but ... [read more]

Dommer v. LTD Fin. Servs.

Date:July 29, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Inconvenient Time or Place; Validation Notice; Verification of Debt
Consumer alleged defendant placed two calls to him while he was at work—on his cell phone and a desk phone at work—and failed to send him debt verification. Defendant moved to dismiss and court granted. Court found that consumer failed to allege that defendant knew or should have known consumer's... [read more]

Kachur v. WMC Mortg. Corp.

Date:July 27, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; FDCPA Statute of Limitations; Mortgage
Consumers alleged defendants failed to validate debts and misrepresented ownership of their mortgage. Defendants moved for summary judgment and court granted. Court found claims all stemmed from events well outside FDCPA's statute of limitations and so were time-barred. [read more]

Williams v. Client Servs.

Date:July 29, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Creditor ID; False/Deceptive/Misleading
Consumer alleged collection letter failed to adequately identify the current creditor. Defendant debt collecter moved for judgment on the pleadings and court granted. Court found that taken as a whole, listing "Re: [creditor]", account number, and amount due was sufficient to convey the letter wa... [read more]

Necak v. Select Portfolio Servicing

Date:July 27, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Attorney Fees/Sanctions; Civil Litigation Procedure; Definition of Debt Collector; FDCPA Definitions (General)
Consumer alleged defendant violated FDCPA by moving in previous RESPA litigation to tax costs that the court found were unrecoverable. Defendant moved to dismiss and court granted. Court found that defendant was not a "debt collector", because it was it was attempting to collect its own fees, and... [read more]

Ainsworth v. Transunion

Date:July 28, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma
Statute:FCRA, FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Credit Reporting; Definition of Debt Collector; Pleading Standard; Reporting Inaccurate Information; Res Judicata/Collateral Estoppel
Consumer alleged defendants inaccurately reported his debts and he was told the information was accurate when he disputed it several times. Defendants moved to dismiss and court granted. Court dismissed FDCPA claims against Dept. of Education under sovereign immunity and FCRA claims under res jud... [read more]

Barton v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs.

Date:July 28, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Mixed
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Jurisdiction; Venue
Consumer alleged defendant violated FDCPA regarding evidence entered during collection litigation between the two parties. Defendant here moved to dismiss or to transfer venue in the alternate. Court denied the first motion and granted the latter. Court found the current venue improper since cons... [read more]

Ward v. NPAS, Inc.

Date:July 27, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Definition of Debt Collector; Mini-Miranda
Consumer alleged defendant failed to provide meaningful disclosure and the mini-Miranda in its communications with her. Defendant moved for summary judgment and court granted. Court found that defendant was not a "debt collector", because the debts were not in default—as laid out in the treatment... [read more]

Brundidge v. Brim Props. LLC

Date:July 29, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, District of Utah
Statute:FDCPA
 
Overall
Disposition:
Positive
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Definition of Debt Collector
Consumer alleged defendants unlawfully pursued unpaid rent and attorneys' fees in a state court action. Defendants moved to dismiss and court granted. Court found consumer had failed to allege past a conclusory statement that defendants were "debt collectors". Court declined to exercise supplemen... [read more]

Russell v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc.

Date:July 24, 2020
Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
Statute:FDCPA, State Law
 
Overall
Disposition:
Negative
Issues: Civil Litigation Procedure; Repossession
Consumers alleged defendants repossessed their car despite a breach of peace that should have stopped the process. Defendants moved to amend the previous summary judgment order so that they could bring an appeal before the case was fully resolved, but court denied. Court found that it was unneces... [read more]
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