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Michele L. Bodine v. First National Collection Bureau

December 13, 2010

MICHELE L. BODINE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FIRST NATIONAL COLLECTION BUREAU, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cooper, District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

MEMORANDUM OPINION

The plaintiff, Michele L. Bodine ("Plaintiff") brings this action alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § ("Section") 1692 et seq. ("FDCPA"). (Dkt. entry no. 1, Compl.) The defendant, First National Collection Bureau, Inc. ("FNCB") now moves for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(c). (Dkt. entry no. 7, Mot. for J. on the Pleadings.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant the motion.

BACKGROUND

For purposes of addressing this motion only, the Court will accept the following allegations contained in the Amended Complaint as true, although it appears that the material facts are not in dispute. See Cal. Pub. Employees' Ret. Sys. v. Chubb Corp., 394 F.3d 126, 134 (3d Cir. 2004).

FNCB mailed Plaintiff a letter dated March 10, 2010 ("3-10-10 Letter"), stating that a delinquent debt of $1856.26 (the "debt") had been assigned to it for collection. (Compl. at ¶ 16 & Ex. A, 3-10-10 Letter.) The 3-10-10 Letter indicated that the original creditor on the debt was Capital One, the current creditor was North Star Capital Acquisition LLC, and advised that unless Plaintiff notified FNCB within thirty days of receiving the letter that she disputed the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, FNCB would assume that the debt was valid. (3-10-10 Letter.) It further advised that if Plaintiff did dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, by notifying FNCB "in writing within 30 days of receiving" the notice, it would "obtain verification of the debt . . . and mail [Plaintiff] a copy of such . . . verification." (Id.) It stated that if Plaintiff requested it within thirty days of receiving the letter, FNCB would provide her with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. (Id.) The 3-10-10 Letter offered to settle the debt at a 50% discount of the total amount due, in the form of six payments of $154.69 each, to be paid monthly. (Id.)

Plaintiff contacted FNCB by telephone to dispute the debt. (Compl. at ¶¶ 17-18.) She contends that FNCB's "agent/employee [the "Employee"] failed to provide specific information regarding the underlying debt and referred only to the [3-10-10 Letter] during the same phone call." (Id. at ¶ 18.) She further alleges that this person "would not provide Plaintiff with more specific information about the amount owed," and that FNCB "failed to provide documentation to support its claim for the amount of the underlying debt within the time specified by FDCPA and failed to acknowledge Plaintiff's dispute regarding the amount allegedly owed." (Id. at ¶¶ 20-21.) She "believes, and therefore avers," that Defendant did not have proof (1) that Plaintiff owed the debt, prior to attempting to collect it; (2) of the dates and amounts of purchases, or the items allegedly purchased, with regard to the debt being collected; and (3) that Plaintiff was liable for the debt. (Id. at ¶¶ 22-24.)

Plaintiff contends that because the debt at issue "is more than six (6) years old," being "a Capital One account that is over eight (8) years old," it is "stale under New Jersey law." (Id. at ¶¶ 14, 26.) She alleges that FNCB's attempt to collect the debt violated the FDCPA insofar as it was

a) Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692d;

b) Making deceptive, false or misleading representations when attempting to collect a debt, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e;

c) Misrepresenting the amount of the debt, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2);

d) Using false representations or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10);

e) Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt, in violation of ...


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