United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ELAINE LEVINS and WILLIAM LEVINS, on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
HEALTHCARE REVENUE RECOVERY GROUP, LLC D/B/A ARS ACCOUNT RESOLUTION SERVICES, AND JOHN and JANE DOES 1 THROGH 25 CORRECTIONS, et al. Defendants.
B. KUGLER United States District Judge
matter arises upon defendant Healthcare Revenue Recovery
Group's (“HRRG”) motion to dismiss plaintiffs
Elaine Levins and William Levins'
(“Plaintiffs”) suit for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). For
the reasons set forth in the opinion below, this motion is
on their own behalf and on behalf of the class they seek to
represent, allege that HRRG used false, deceptive,
misleading, harassing, and abusive practices in connection
with its attempt to collect alleged debts from Plaintiffs and
similarly situated customers. See Compl. at 3. HRRG
is a Limited Liability Company existing pursuant to the laws
of the State of Florida. See Compl. at 2; Def. Br.
Ex. B. It operates as a debt collector, with its principal
place of business in City of Sunrise, Florida. Compl. at
2. “ARS Account Resolution Services” is
an unincorporated division of HRRG and registered as an
alternative trade name for HRRG with the State of New Jersey.
See Def. Br. Ex. C.
specifically contend that HRRG collection practices violate
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692
(“FDCPA”), because the practices:
(a) fail to provide meaningful disclosure of HRRG's
(b) use false representations and deceptive means to collect
or attempt to collect any debt and to obtain information
concerning a consumer; and
(c) use the name of any business, company, or organization
other than the true name of the debt collections business,
company, or organization.
See Compl. at 3. Plaintiffs allegedly owe a
medical debt. Id. at 5. That debt was assigned,
placed, or transferred to HRRG for collection. Id.
HRRG then contacted Plaintiffs and third-parties via
telephone and left messages in an attempt to collect the
alleged debt, which HRRG contends is in default. Id.
HRRG's pre-recorded message is transcribed as follows:
ARS calling. Please return our call at 1-800-694-3048. ARS is
a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any
information obtained will be used for that purpose. Again,
our number is 1-800-694-3048. Visit us at
See Compl. at 6.
allege that this message violates FDCPA. First, they maintain
that it does not satisfy the “meaningful
disclosure” requirement. § 1692(d)(6). There are
other debt collectors, along with numerous other types of
businesses, that use the name “ARS” in New
Jersey. As such, Plaintiffs maintain that the only
way for Plaintiffs and/or a least sophisticated consumer to
obtain the identity of the caller, and to ascertain the
purpose underlying the messages, is to place a return call to
the telephone number provided. Compl. at 8. This, Plaintiffs
say, constitutes an inappropriate duty to investigate.
Id.; Pl. Br. at 17. Plaintiffs further contend that
it is deceptive and improper to abbreviate “ARS Account
Resolution Services” as “ARS” for the
purposes of collection because “ARS” is not the
defendant corporation's true name. Plaintiffs have thus
brought this case as a class action on behalf of all persons
with addresses in the State of New Jersey for whom HRRG left
such a voice message. Id.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a court to dismiss an
action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. When evaluating a motion to dismiss, “courts
accept all factual allegations as true, construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and
determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the
complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.”
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir.
2009) (quoting Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515
F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008)). In other words, a complaint
survives a motion to dismiss if it contains sufficient
factual matter, accepted as ...