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Reynolds v. Encore Receivable Management Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 18, 2018

MELISSA REYNOLDS, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ENCORE RECEIVABLE MANAGEMENT, INC., and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants.

          OPINION

          John Michael Vazquez, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Encore Receivable Management, Inc.'s ("Encore" or "Defendant") motion to dismiss the class action Complaint filed by Plaintiff Melissa Reynolds ("Plaintiff). D.E. 1, 5. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., in its attempt to collect on a debt Plaintiff owed to Synchrony Bank ("Synchrony"). The Court reviewed the parties' submissions and decided the motion without oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b) and L. Civ. R. 78.1 (b).[1] For the reasons set forth below, the Defendant's motion is GRANTED, and Plaintiffs Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

         I. Background & Procedural History

The following facts are derived from Plaintiffs Complaint ("Complaint" or "Compl."), D.E. 1. At some point prior to March 13, 2017, Plaintiff incurred a debt obligation to Synchrony. Compl. at ¶ 15. On or before March 13, 2017, the debt was past due and was referred to Encore for collection.[2] Id. at ¶ 19, 20. In a letter dated March 13, 2017 ("March Letter"), Defendant wrote to Plaintiff in an attempt to collect payment for the debt. Id. at ¶¶ 22-23; Ex. A. The March Letter included the following: "Note: If payment has already been made, please notify this office at 866- 247-1087 or by writing to Encore at the address listed below." Ex. A. The letter further stated:

Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 30 days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, this office will: obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request this office in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

Id.

         In the top right-hand corner of the correspondence, the following was listed:

Creditor: Synchrony Bank

Re: P C RICHARD & SON
For Account Ending in: XXXXXXXXXXXX5482
Encore Account #: [REDACTED]287O
Total Account Balance: $1, 602.00
Total Amount Due: $209.00

Id. (emphasis in original). Thus, the March Letter included the overall account balance as well as the current amount due.

         On April 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a putative class action before this Court, alleging one count for violations of provisions of the FDCPA. Compl. at ¶¶ 38-61. D.E. 1. Plaintiff contends that she and "others similarly situated were sent letters, which would have affected their decision making with regard to the debt" and "have suffered harm as a direct result of the abusive, deceptive and unfair collection practices described herein." Id. at ¶¶ 59-60. Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss on May 5, 2017, D.E. 5, which Plaintiff opposed, D.E. 9. Defendant replied on June 15, 2017. D.E. 12. Defendant filed a letter containing supplemental authority on February 27, 2018, to which Plaintiff responded. D.E. 13, 14.

         II. ...


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