United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ASHLEY CLEMONS, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
MIDLAND CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant.
ZEMEL ZEMEL LAW LLC On behalf of Plaintiff
BETH SILVERMAN MATTHEW BLAKE CORWIN HINSHAW & CULBERTSON
LLP On behalf of Defendant
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter concerns claims by Plaintiff, on behalf of herself and
other similarly situated parties, against a credit card
account servicer for its efforts to collect on
Plaintiff's credit card debt. Presently before the Court
is the motion of Defendant to compel arbitration of
Plaintiff's claims. For the reasons expressed below,
Defendant's motion will be granted.
Ashley Clemons, claims that on April 4, 2018, Defendant,
Midland Credit Management, Inc. (“MCM”), sent her
a letter presenting the “current balance” of
$367.01 for a personal credit card issued by Comenity Bank.
The collection letter, which is attached as an exhibit to
Plaintiff's complaint, provides:
challenges the clarity of the payment options. Plaintiff
claims that Option 3 is ambiguous as to whether this is a
third settlement option or a path to full payment. Plaintiff
claims that Option 3 on its own appears to be a path to full
payment, but after reading the statement that all three are
discount options, the consumer would reasonably believe that
the item is a discount. Plaintiff claims that this ambiguity
is material because it directly affects the consumer's
choice to pay the debt.
on this letter, Plaintiff alleges that MCM has violated
various provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., which
prohibits debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive
and unfair practices. Plaintiff seeks damages, as well as
declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiff also seeks to
bring a class action comprising of: “All consumers with
a New Jersey address that have received the same form letter
as Exhibit A from Defendant MCM concerning debts for Comenity
Bank used primarily for personal, household, or family
purposes within one year prior to the filing of this
complaint.” (Docket No. 1 at 3.)
moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and to
compel arbitration pursuant to the arbitration provision in
the Account Agreement Plaintiff entered into with Comenity,
which MCM argues it may enforce as part of Comenity's
assignment of Plaintiff's account to MCM. Plaintiff has
opposed MCM's motion, arguing that the motion should be
denied because MCM has no standing to enforce a provision in
an agreement it was not a party to. Plaintiff further argues
that the entire agreement is invalid and unenforceable as a
matter of law and equity.
Subject matter jurisdiction
brings this action for damages and declaratory relief arising
from the Defendant's violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692
et seq., the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This Court
has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Standard for Motion to Dismiss and to Compel
Third Circuit has articulated the standard for a court to
apply when ...