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Shanker v. Fair Collection & Outsourcing

June 19, 2009

SAMUEL SHANKER, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED PLAINTIFFS,
v.
FAIR COLLECTION & OUTSOURCING, LLC DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson, United States District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss brought by Defendant Fair Collection and Outsourcing, LLC ("FCO" or "Defendant") to dismiss Plaintiff Samuel Shanker's ("Plaintiff") Complaint. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to inform him, and others similarly situated, in its correspondences that the communication was from a debt collector, in contravention of 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e)(11), commonly referred to as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant's representative, in violation of the FDCPA, improperly disclosed to a third party in a phone call that Plaintiff owed a debt that was now in collection. The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions, and for the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Because Defendants move for dismissal pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the Court will assume the facts as alleged in Plaintiff's Complaint are true.

Plaintiff alleges that on or about March 23, 2009, Sue Wilson, an FCO representative, called Plaintiff's home. When Plaintiff's wife, Cynthia Shanker, advised Wilson that Plaintiff was not currently available, Wilson identified herself as a representative from FCO and that Plaintiff owed over $5,686.15, payable immediately. On or about March 30, 2009, FCO, via a representative, again called Plaintiff's home.*fn1 Plaintiff, being home at the time, spoke directly to the FCO representative and denied owing any money and requested verification of the debt. Plaintiff subsequently received the verification in the form of a letter signed by Wilson on April 2, 2009, which informed Plaintiff that he owed over $5,686.15 to Meridian Terrace LLC. The contents of the letter, which Plaintiff provides as an exhibit to his Complaint, is at the crux of the current litigation. The letter, signed by Wilson, states in boldface type: "VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT," which Plaintiff requested after his March 30th conversation with Wilson. The letter goes on to state:

Dear Mr./Ms. Shanker,

Enclosed per your request is verification of the above noted debt. If there is a discrepancy, contact this office immediately.

If yo have any questions, please contact your collector.

Sincerely,

Sue Wilson

Fair, Collections & Outsourcing

As a result of these communications, Plaintiff alleges that FCO is in violation of two provisions of the FDCPA, including (1) 15 U.S.C. § 1692(11), which requires a debt collector to disclose in all communications that the communications is coming from a debt collector; and (2) 15 U.S.C. § 1692(c)(b), which prohibits a debt collector from disclosing to a third party the nature of the alleged debt without the debtor's prior consent. Plaintiff initiated this action in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on April 14, 2009. FCO subsequently filed this Motion to Dismiss on May 12, 2009. For the reasons that follow, FCO's Motion to Dismiss is granted.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review for Motion ...


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