United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
B. KUGLER United States District Judge.
case is about $82.00. That sum is the value of a court filing
fee and a service fee connected to a credit card debt
collection action. Plaintiff Nestor Saroza has sued
Defendant, a law firm representing a client seeking to
recover a debt, on the theory of a violation of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692 et seq. This matter comes before this
Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Complaint, or in
the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 7), and
the Response (Doc. No. 9) and Reply (Doc. No. 12) thereto.
Saroza brings this action as a member of a putative class
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. After converting the motion to dismiss
to a motion for summary judgment, we directed the parties to
submit supplemental briefing on the matter.
asked to determine whether the difference between the $9,
971.55 in a Superior Court Complaint and the $10, 053.55 in a
letter sent to Saroza, or $82.00 in costs, violates the
FDCPA. We hold that so long as the included costs are
accurate, it does not. Defendant's motion is
One Bank (USA), N.A. filed suit in the Superior Court of New
Jersey against Saroza on January 19, 2016, seeking recovery
of $9, 971.55 in credit card debt that Saroza had allegedly
failed to pay. Capital One also sought costs in the
complaint, but not attorneys' fees or interest. Counsel
for Capital One, and Defendant in this action, paid $75.00 to
file and $7.00 for service, a sum of $82.00. (Def. Br. Ex.
2.) The court-issued summons sought $9, 971.55 and made no
mention of the filing fee or service fee, though it does say
the action would be inclusive of court costs if Saroza failed
to respond. (Compl. Ex. B.)
sent a January 25, 2016 letter to Saroza after it filed,
whose pertinent parts follow:
LYONS, DOUGHTY & VELDHUIS, P.C. . . .
Re: Capitol One Bank (USA), N.A. v. NESTOR SAROZA Docket No.
DC-00065-16 Amount Due: $10, 053.55
Dear NESTOR SAROZA:
We have filed suit to recover the balance due in the above
matter. However, our goal is to resolve the debt in a way
that is manageable for you. We encourage you to contact us.
If you would rather not call us, you can ask questions and/or
make a settlement offer or payment arrangement proposal via
our website: www.ldvlaw.com . . . .
THIS FIRM IS A DEBT COLLECTOR
(Compl. Ex. A.) It is Saroza's contention that this
letter fails to state that the $82.00 is not part of the
debt. But the Capital One Customer Agreement for the credit
card does have that language, such as “[w]e may
consider you in default of your Agreement with us if: (1) you
do not make any payment when it is due.” (Def. Br. Ex.
3, Ex. A.) It also provides:
[I]f you are in default, we may take the following actions
without notifying you, unless the law says that we must
. . . (6) pursue any other action against you that the law
allows, which includes the filing of ...