United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MELISSA REYNOLDS, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
ENCORE RECEIVABLE MANAGEMENT, INC., and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants.
Michael Vazquez, U.S.D.J.
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). For the reasons set forth below, the
Defendant's motion is GRANTED, and
Plaintiffs Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
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. 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
top right-hand corner of the correspondence, the following
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
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.