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CAVALLARO v. LAW OFFICE OF SHAPIRO & KREISMAN

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


August 7, 1996

JOSEPH CAVALLARO, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, against THE LAW OFFICE OF SHAPIRO & KREISMAN, GERALD SHAPIRO, ESQ., DAVID KREISMAN, ESQ., and LILLIAN BASS, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHNSON

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 JOHNSON, District Judge:

 INTRODUCTION

 Before this Court is Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff contends that the Law Office of Shapiro & Kreisman ("Shapiro & Kreisman"), Gerald Shapiro ("Shapiro"), David Kreisman ("Kreisman"), and Lillian Bass, a legal assistant ("Bass"), (collectively "Defendants") violated the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act of 1977 (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. ยง 1692. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that letters and notices sent to him by Defendants did not properly inform him of his rights. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 BACKGROUND

 The alleged violations of the FDCPA involve two written communications that Defendants sent to Plaintiff in connection with a foreclosure of a security interest in a cooperative apartment. In September 1994, Plaintiff allegedly defaulted on a secured loan for $ 96,000. The law firm Shapiro & Kreisman was retained to commence foreclosure proceedings in February 1994.

 One month later, on March 23, 1995, Defendants sent a collection letter (the "collection letter"), together with a Debt Validation Notice (the "validation notice") on a separate sheet of paper, to Plaintiff. The collection letter was on Shapiro & Kreisman letterhead and read as follows:

 

March 23, 1995

 

Joseph Cavallaro

 

135 Ocean Parkway, Apt. 17N

 

Brooklyn, New York 11218

 

RE: Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, f/k/a Chase Home Mortgage Corporation - against - Joseph Cavallaro and Trudy Cavallaro

 

Loan # 1607146

 

Premises: 135 Ocean Parkway, Apt. 17N, Brooklyn, New York

 

11218

 

Apartment Number: 17N

 

Our File No. 18018-95

 

Dear Joseph Cavallaro:

 

Reference is made to the Note dated April 26, 1988 (the "Note") in the principal sum of $ 96,000.00 made by Joseph Cavallaro and Trudy Cavallaro to Chase Home Mortgage Corporation secured by a first lien on the Stock Certificate and Proprietary Lease appurtenant thereto for the above-referenced premises as evidenced by a Security Agreement (the "Security Agreement") bearing even date therewith made by and between the same parties.

 

Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, f/k/a Chase Home Mortgage Corporation has referred your file to us to commence foreclosure proceedings due to your delinquency in making the payments pursuant to the Note and Security Agreement.

 

As a Result of such delinquency, the entire principal Note, together with accrued interest thereon and all other sums secured by the Security Agreement is now due and payable. Please contact the undersigned to make the final payment (and avoid further expenses).

 

Nothing herein contained shall be deemed an election of remedies under the Note, Security Agreement or any other instrument evidencing or securing the loan, and Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation. f/k/a Chase Home Mortgage Corporation hereby expressly reserves all of its rights and remedies under said instruments and as provided by law.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Lillian Bass

 

Legal Assistant

  The collection letter made no reference to the accompanying validation notice. The validation notice appeared as follows: NOTICE TO: Joseph Cavallaro 135 Ocean Parkway, Apt. 17N Brooklyn, New York 11218 Amount of Debt: $ 96,000.00 Name of Creditor to Whom Debt is Owed: Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, f/k/a Chase Home Mortgage Corporation Name of Original Creditor: Chase Home Mortgage Corporation Address of Original Creditor: 135 Chestnut Ridge Road Montvale, New Jersey 07645

19960807

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