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June 30, 1997

CAROLYN HARRISON, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, against NBD INC., NATIONAL EDUCATION CORP., and INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOLS, INC., Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: SPATT


 SPATT, District Judge.

 This action was commenced by the plaintiff, Carolyn Harrison (the "plaintiff"), on behalf of a putative class, seeking statutory damages pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the "FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq., from the defendants NBD Inc. ("NBD"), National Education Corp. ("NEC"), and International Correspondence Schools, Inc. ("ICS") (collectively, the "defendants"), for the mailing by NBD to the plaintiff of a letter which the plaintiff alleges contains language contrary to the statute's requirements.

 Presently before the Court is a motion by the defendants: (1) to dismiss the amended complaint, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and (2) for costs and fees expended to date in this action, if the defendants prevail in the present motion. If the defendants' motion to dismiss is granted, the plaintiff seeks leave to file and serve a second amended complaint.


 According to the original complaint filed with the Court on September 30, 1996, the plaintiff is a resident of Roosevelt, New York. NBD is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The principal purpose of NBD is the collection of debts due to others. NBD uses the mails in conducting this business. NEC is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Irvine, California. The principal purpose of NEC is the operation of correspondence schools and providing other education services. NEC operates ICS and owns 100% of NBD.

 The plaintiff received a letter from NBD dated May 21, 1996 (the "letter"), the purpose of which was to collect an alleged debt of $ 247.86 that the plaintiff incurred with ICS. The plaintiff contracted with ICS for a home study course. The demand stated that the plaintiff could receive a special discount of $ 86.75, for a discounted amount due of $ 161.11, if she paid by June 21, 1996. The plaintiff alleges that this overshadows or contradicts the validation notice as required by the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692(g).

 Second, the plaintiff alleges that the demand purports to come from NBD, an independent collection agency, by stating, "your account with ICS is severely delinquent and has been referred to us for collection." Complaint P 14. The plaintiff alleges that NEC is a "debt collector" subject to the FDCPA because it is uses NBD's name to collect a debt, conveying "the impression that a third-party collection agency is involved in collecting the debt, when this is not the case." Complaint P 22. NEC is alleged to have caused and approved such deception. The plaintiff maintains that this alleged act is in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10).

 Third, the plaintiff alleges that the amount of the debt is overstated in the letter. The plaintiff's total tuition fee for the course at ICS was $ 2,008.00. In December, 1994, the plaintiff paid a down payment of $ 29.00, leaving a balance of $ 1,979.00. The plaintiff completed 11.7% of the course. Multiplying the percent completed by the total tuition, the plaintiff calculated her liability at $ 253.68. However, the letter also lists $ 1,979.00 as the "balance due". The plaintiff acknowledges that if she "now elected to continue with the course, she would owe the $ 1,979.00 figure upon completion." Complaint P 16. The plaintiff alleges that the amount of the debt is overstated and misleading, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2), (10), because the letter deceptively states that the "balance due" is $ 1,979.00. In addition, the plaintiff alleges that she is acting on behalf of a class of similarly situated consumers whose rights have been violated.

 With NBD and NEC's consent and the approval of this Court, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 16, 1997. The only substantive difference between the original and amended complaint is the addition of ICS as a defendant. ICS is alleged to be "one of three operating entities of NEC, which offers distance education in vocational academic and professional studies to consumers and companies throughout the world." Amended Complaint P 7. ICS, in addition to NEC, is alleged to have caused and approved the deception by NBD of holding itself out as if it were an independent, third party collection agency, when, in fact, NEC and ICS are the debt collectors using NBD's name.


 A. Standard of review

 On a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, "the court should not dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) unless it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief'". Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1065 (2d Cir. 1985)(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)); see also IUE AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Herrmann, 9 F.3d 1049, 1052-53 (2d Cir. 1993), 513 U.S. 822, 115 S. Ct. 86, 130 L. Ed. 2d 38 (1994). The Second Circuit stated that in deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court may consider "only the facts alleged in the pleadings, documents attached as exhibits or incorporated by reference in the pleadings and matters of which judicial notice may be taken". Samuels v. Air Transport Local 504, 992 F.2d 12, 15 (2d Cir. 1993); see also Paulemon v. Tobin, 30 F.3d 307, 308-09 (2d Cir. 1994); Rent Stabilization Ass'n of the City of New York v. Dinkins, 5 F.3d 591, 593-94 (2d Cir. 1993) (citing Samuels, 992 F.2d at 15).

 It is not the Court's function to weigh the evidence that might be presented at a trial, the Court must merely determine whether the complaint itself is legally sufficient, see Goldman, 754 F.2d at 1067, and in doing so, it is well settled that the Court must accept the allegations of the complaint as true, see LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d Cir. 1991); Procter & Gamble Co. v. Big Apple Indus. Bldgs, Inc., 879 F.2d 10, 14 (2d Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 1022, 110 S. Ct. 723, 107 L. Ed. 2d 743 (1990), and construe all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90, 94 S. Ct. 1683 (1974); Bankers Trust Co. v. Rhoades, 859 F.2d 1096, 1099 (2d Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1007, 109 S. Ct. 1642, 104 L. Ed. 2d 158 (1989).

 The Court is mindful that under the modern rules of pleading, a plaintiff need only provide "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief", Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), and that "all pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice", Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(f).

 The issue before the Court on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion "is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claim." Villager Pond, Inc. v. Town of Darien, 56 F.3d 375, 378 (2d Cir. 1995) (citing Scheuer, supra, 416 U.S. at 235-36). Recovery may appear remote and unlikely on the face of the pleading, but that is not the test for dismissal. Gant v. Wallingford Bd. of Educ., 69 F.3d 669, 673 (2d Cir. 1995) (citing Scheuer, supra, 416 U.S. at 236).

 It is within this framework that the Court addresses the present motion to dismiss.

 B. Applicability of the FDCPA to the defendants

 As a threshold matter, before the Court determines whether the plaintiff has validly stated claims of violation the of FDCPA, the Court must determine whether the FDCPA is applicable to each of the defendants. The FDCPA prohibits abusive debt collection practices by "debt collectors". See 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e); Cavallaro v. Law Office of Shapiro & Kreisman, 933 F. Supp. 1148, 1152 (E.D.N.Y. 1996). "Debt collectors" include


any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.

 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) (West 1982 & 1997 Supp.).

 Congress targeted situations where natural constraints would fail to inhibit debt collection practices:


Unlike creditors, who generally are restrained by the desire to protect their good will when collecting past due accounts, independent collectors are likely to have no future contact with the consumer and often are unconcerned with the consumer's opinion of them.

 S. Rpt. No. 95-382, 95th Cong., 1st Sess., reprinted in 1977 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 1695, 1696. Therefore, generally, the FDCPA does not apply to creditors. See Young v. Citicorp Retail Services, Inc., No. CIV. 3:95 CV1504, 1997 WL 280508, at *4 (D. Conn. May 19, 1997); Krutchkoff v. Fleet Bank, N.A., 960 F. Supp. 541, 1996 WL 867317, at *7, (D. Conn. 1996); Teng v. Metro. Retail Recovery, Inc., 851 F. Supp. 61, 66 (E.D.N.Y. 1994); James v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 842 F. Supp. 1202, 1207 (D. Minn. 1994), aff'd, 47 F.3d 961 (8th Cir. 1995); Meads v. Citicorp Credit Services, Inc., 686 F. Supp. 330, 333 (S.D. Ga. 1988). However, the FDCPA provides that a creditor would be deemed a "debt collector" for purposes of the FDCPA, if it collects its own debts by using "any name other than his own which would indicate that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such debts." 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). In that situation, the natural restraint discussed above, would not constrain the creditor. In addition, the FDCPA excludes a debt collector that acts


... as a debt collector for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so only for persons to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts.

 15 U.S.C.A. § 1692a(6)(B) ("Section 6(B)").

 The plaintiff's amended complaint alleges that the principal purpose of NBD is the collection of debts due others while using the mails in conducting its business. ICS, the creditor, and NBD are related by common ownership by NEC. The plaintiff's amended complaint is premised on the fact that the demand or dunning letter purported to come from an independent collection agency, NBD. The plaintiff alleges that ICS is a "debt collector" as defined by the FDCPA since it attempted to collect its own debt under another name, NBD, indicating that a third party was collecting the debt. The plaintiff maintains that NEC is an appropriate defendant since NEC, "the parent corporation of both ICS and NBD, was aware of and directed the collection efforts undertaken by NBD for the benefit of both ICS and NEC." Plaintiff's Supplemental Memorandum to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss ("Plaintiff's Supp. Mem.") at 2. In addition, the plaintiff maintains that she and "...other correspondence school students interacted with NEC under the ICS name." Id. The defendants dispute whether NEC and ICS are "debt collectors" and hence, subject to the FDCPA. The defendants also maintain that no substantive violations of the FDCPA occurred.

 1. NBD

 The plaintiff's amended complaint alleges that the principal purpose of NBD is the collection of debts due others while using the mails in conducting its business. The demand letter is from NBD and it attempts to collect a debt on behalf of ICS. The Court finds that the plaintiff has adequately pled that NBD is a "debt collector", as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6), and that the Section 6(B) exemption is inapplicable to NBD.

 The Court finds the following cases discussing the Section 6(B) exemption to be instructive. In Meads v. Citicorp Credit Services, Inc., 686 F. Supp. 330 (S.D. Ga. 1988), Citicorp Credit Services, Inc. ("CCSI"), attempted to collect a debt that the plaintiffs incurred on their VISA credit card account. The credit card was issued by Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. ("Citibank"). CCSI and Citibank are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Citicorp. Although CCSI was the only named defendant, the plaintiffs argued that Citibank was attempting to collect a debt by using a name other than its own, indicating that a third party was attempting to collect the debt.

 The court in Meads held that CCSI and Citibank were both excluded under the FDCPA under Section 6(B). Meads, supra, 686 F. Supp. at 334. With regard to CCSI, it was collecting debts for Citibank with whom it was related by corporate control. CCSI's principal function was the solicitation and marketing of credit accounts, not debt collection. Finally, CCSI serviced only Citicorp affiliates. The court stated that "the exclusion expressly permits an entity who is not the actual creditor to collect the creditor's debts if it meets the exclusion's requirements...." Id. (emphasis in original).

 Likewise, in Young v. Lehigh Corp., 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11575, No. 80 C 4376, 1989 WL 117960 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 1989), the plaintiff claimed that the defendant, Lehigh Corp., was a "debt collector" under the FDCPA since it collected the debts of a third party, Lehigh Country Club, Inc., a subsidiary of Lehigh Corp. The court held that the defendant, Lehigh Corp., was exempt under Section 6(B) since the corporations were "related by common ownership or affiliated by common control." Id. at *22. The plaintiff had not alleged that Lehigh Corp.'s principal business is the collection of debts or that it collected the debts for other non-affiliated entities. Id.

 In Little v. World Financial Network, Inc., 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20846, Civ. No. N-89-346, 1990 WL 516554 (D. Conn. July 15, 1990), World Financial Network, Inc. ("WFN") mailed the plaintiff a letter in an attempt to collect a debt that the plaintiff incurred on her Lane Bryant credit card. Lane Byant and WFN were subsidiaries of The Limited, Inc. The court in Little rejected the contention that WFN fell within the Section 6(B) exemption, stating that


the evidence before the Court indicates that WFN's primary purpose is the collection of debts, and also that WFN collects debts created by the extension of credit "by Lane Bryant and others."

 Id. 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20846, *11, 1990 WL 516554, at *4. Hence, WFN failed to meet both requirements of the Section 6(B) exemption.

 In the present case, while the plaintiff alleges that NBD is related to ICS by common ownership by NEC, she also alleges that the principal business of NBD is the collection of debts. Unlike Meads and Young, the plaintiff's latter allegation is sufficient to overcome the applicability of the Section 6(B) exemption. Therefore, the Court finds that the plaintiff has alleged that NBD is a "debt collector", as defined by the FDCPA.

 2. ICS

 ICS is the entity which extended the credit to the plaintiff and on whose behalf NBD attempted to collect the debt. Although a creditor is generally not covered by the FDCPA, the plaintiff reasons that ICS is subject to the FDCPA because it attempted to collect the debt under a different name, NBD, indicating that a third party was collecting the debt. The corporate affiliation between ICS and NBD is not disclosed in the letter. Therefore, the plaintiff maintains that ICS is a "debt collector" subject to the FDCPA. The Court finds this argument unpersuasive.

 In cases where a creditor collected its own debts by using a different name, thus implying that a third party was the debt collector, the creditor controlled almost all aspects of debt collection, see Young v. Citicorp Retail Services, Inc., No. CIV. 3:95 CV1504, 1997 WL 280508 (D. Conn. May 19, 1997) (creditor was "debt collector" subject to the FDCPA where creditor, not attorney, operated automated system that selected accounts for mailing, printed and mailed the attorney's letters from its office, and any responses or payments elicited from those letters were received and handled directly by the attorney and the creditor, but through communication channels maintained by the creditor), or used an alias, see Pressman v. Southeastern Financial Group, Inc., 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17961, No. CIV. A. 94-5244, 1995 WL 710480, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 30, 1995) ("If a creditor uses an alias, then the creditor falls within the definition of 'debt collector'."); see also Maguire v. Citicorp Retail Services, Inc., No. 3:95 CV2113, 1997 WL 280540, at *3 (D. Conn. May 19, 1997).

 This Court finds Meads, supra, illuminating on the issue of whether ICS is a "debt collector". The court in Meads, supra, held that neither the debt collector, CCSI, nor the creditor/corporate affiliate, Citibank, were debt collectors under the FDCPA. Meads, supra, 686 F. Supp. at 334. That court stated that "the creditor is not collecting the debt under an assumed name; rather, a separate and excludable entity is collecting the debt." Id. Although ICS' corporate affiliate, NBD, is alleged as a debt collector, the Court finds that a factual situation, similar to Meads, exists in the present case. ICS, like Citibank in Meads, is not a "debt collector" under the FDCPA merely because it retains its corporate affiliate to collect its debt. The plaintiff alleges that NBD and ICS are subsidiaries of NEC. NBD and ICS are two distinct entities. Nowhere in the plaintiff's amended complaint is it alleged that the two corporations are, in reality, one single economic entity or that ICS controls NBD's debt collection process. The alleged "approval" by ICS of NBD's collection practices is insufficient as a matter of law, to convert ICS' status as creditor to that of "debt collector". The plaintiff has not cited, nor is this Court aware, of any cases wherein a creditor that "approves" of a debt collector's practices is transformed into a "debt collector" under the FDCPA.

 Clearly, a creditor which retains a non-affiliated debt collector would not be subject to the FDCPA. See Young, supra; Krutchkoff, supra; Teng, supra. This Court declines to broaden the tenets of the FDCPA to convert a creditor which retains a separate and distinct entity to collect it debts, albeit a corporate affiliate, into a "debt collector", regardless of whether the affiliation is disclosed.

  The cases cited by the plaintiff in support of its argument that ICS and NEC are "debt collectors" as defined under the FDCPA, are unpersuasive. It is this Court's view that those cases are readily distinguishable for the following reasons. Grammatico v. Sterling, No. 91-CV-467 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 27, 1991), is a transcript of an oral decision on the defendant, Sterling, Inc.'s, motion for summary judgment rendered by the Honorable Thomas J. McAvoy. The defendant was collecting a debt allegedly incurred by the plaintiff to the defendant's subsidiary, Kay Jewelers. Judge McAvoy rejected the contention that the defendant was exempt under Section 6(B). Kay Jewelers, the creditor, was not a defendant in Grammatico. In addition, Judge McAvoy did not indicate, in dicta, whether Kay Jewelers would be liable under the FDCPA as a "debt collector." At most, Grammatico merely suggests that NBD is a debt collector and that the Section 6(B) exemption is inapplicable. However, it sheds no insight on whether ICS or NEC should be considered "debt collectors" under the FDCPA.

 In Vernon v. B.W.S. Credit Services, Inc., No. CV79-L-21 (D. Neb. Feb. 25, 1980), the defendant, Beneficial, was the parent corporation of Spiegel and B.W.S. Although the court in Vernon rejected the contention that the defendant, Beneficial, was exempt under Section 6(B), this Court cannot discern what precedential value, if any, to give Vernon due to the paucity of facts provided by the Vernon court in its slip opinion. The Vernon court stated that "an even more fundamental reason for denying this part of the motion to dismiss is that the plaintiff does allege that Beneficial participated in acts which violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692j." Id. at 3 (emphasis in original). 15 U.S.C. § 1692j provides the furnishing of certain deceptive forms violative of the FDCPA. In the present case, the plaintiff does not allege a violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692j. Moreover, this Court is left to ponder what that plaintiff's factual allegations were and if they are distinguishable from those in the present case.

 The facts of Britton v. Weiss, 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14610, No. 89- CV-143, 1989 WL 148663 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 8, 1989), are also distinct from the case before this Court. In Britton, an attorney who was an employee of the creditor, New York Telephone Company, was held to be a "debt collector" under the FDCPA since the least sophisticated customer may view the letter as from an independent attorney, thus involving a "more serious step in the collection process". 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14610, *7, 1989 WL 148663 at *2.

 Finally, the plaintiff in the present case relies upon an FTC opinion letter dated Sept. 19, 1985, which stated that


the Commission staff has stated that it would generally be a violation of 807(10) for a creditor to use a controlled entity to collect its own debts under a name that conveys the impression that a third party is collecting the debts.

 Thus, the FTC staff commentary rejected the applicability of the Section 6(B) exemption to a corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary when the subsidiary also operates as the parent corporation's debt collector. However, the FDCPA expressly prohibits the FTC from promulgating "trade regulation rules or other regulations with respect to the collection of debts by debt collectors...." 15 U.S.C. § 16921(d). This Court is not bound by such advisory opinions. See Heintz v. Jenkins, 514 U.S. 291, 115 S. Ct. 1489, 1492, 131 L. Ed. 2d 395 (1995).

 The Court recognizes that the FDCPA is a remedial statute which should be liberally construed.


The [Consumer Credit Protection] Act [of which the FDCPA is a part] is remedial in nature, designed to remedy what Congressional hearings revealed to be unscrupulous and predatory creditor practices throughout the nation. Since the statute is remedial in nature, its terms must be construed in liberal fashion if the underlying Congressional purpose is to be effectuated.

 Cirkot v. Diversified Financial Systems, Inc., 839 F. Supp. 941 (D. Conn. 1993) (quoting N.C. Freed Co. v. Bd. of Governors, 473 F.2d 1210, 1214 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 827, 94 S. Ct. 48, 38 L. Ed. 2d 61 (1973)). However, this Court is unwilling to expand the applicability of the FDCPA based solely upon an FTC advisory letter. The FTC advisory opinion has no basis in the legislative history of the FDCPA and "falls outside the range of reasonable interpretations of the Act's express language". See Heintz, supra, 115 S. Ct. at 1492-93. The Court finds that ICS is not a "debt collector" as defined by the FDCPA. Therefore, the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, is granted.

 3. NEC

 A parent corporation will not be liable for the violations committed by its subsidiary absent special circumstances that the corporations should be deemed a single economic enterprise. See Moore v. National Account Systems, Inc., 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18137, No. 3:91 CV00035, 1991 WL 313896, at *1 (D. Conn. Nov. 13, 1991); U.S. v. ACB Sales & Service, Inc., 590 F. Supp. 561, 574 (D. Ariz. 1984). "Under such circumstances, the subsidiary is so dominated by the parent company that it is merely an instrumentality of the parent." Moore, supra, 1991 WL 313896, at *2.

 In the present case, the plaintiff's complaint alleges that NBD is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC. NEC cannot be liable for any violation by NBD of the FDCPA unless: (1) NBD is dominated by NEC to the extent that they constitute a single economic enterprise, see id. ; (2) NEC controlled almost all aspects of NBD's debt collection, see Young, supra, 1997 WL 280508; or (3) NBD is an alias for NEC, see Pressman, supra, 1995 WL 710480, at *2. The plaintiff's complaint does not contain any factual allegations to support any of the above three theories. It merely alleges that NEC approved of the collection demand form used by NBD and that NEC caused and approved of NBD and ICS' deception. The issue of whether the letter discloses the corporate affiliation between NBD and NEC is of no importance in this analysis. The plaintiff's allegations are insufficient to state a claim that NEC is a "debt collector" under the FDCPA. Therefore, the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint as to the defendant, NEC, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), is granted.

 C. NBD's liability under the FDCPA

 1. Overshadowing of the validation notice

 Congress enacted the FDCPA "to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors. . . ." 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e); Cavallaro v. Law Office of Shapiro & Kreisman, 933 F. Supp. 1148, 1152 (E.D.N.Y. 1996). The plaintiff brought this action based on an alleged violation of, among others, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g ("Section 1692g"), which provides in relevant part:


Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing--


(1) the amount of the debt;


(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;


(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;


(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and


(5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

 The Act imposes strict liability unless the debt collector can demonstrate that its violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid any such error. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c); Russell v. Equifax A.R.S., 74 F.3d 30, 33-34 (2d Cir. 1996). A single violation of the Act is sufficient to impose liability. Cavallaro, 933 F. Supp. at 1153 (citing Bentley v. Great Lakes Collection Bureau, 6 F.3d 60, 62 (2d Cir. 1993)).

 When applying Section 1692g, the Court uses an objective standard, evaluating how the "least sophisticated consumer" would interpret any notice she or he received. Russell, supra, 74 F.3d at 34 (citing Clomon v. Jackson, 988 F.2d 1314, 1318 (2d Cir. 1993)); see Bentley, supra, 6 F.3d at 62. "The Act is aimed at protecting consumers in general from abusive debt collection practices and the test is how the least sophisticated consumer -- one not having the astuteness of a 'Philadelphia lawyer' or even the sophistication of the average, everyday, common consumer -- understands the notice he or she receives." Russell, supra, 74 F.3d at 34. Applying this standard, the Court must assess whether NBD's letter "overshadowed or contradicted" the mandatory validation notice thereby making the consumer uncertain of his or her rights. Id. at 34-35 (citing Graziano v. Harrison, 950 F.2d 107, 111 (3d Cir. 1991)). It is not necessary to prove that the contradiction is "threatening." 74 F.3d at 35.

 A plaintiff's complaint alleging a violation of Section 1692g may survive a motion to dismiss if


(1) the plaintiff pleads a contradiction between the demand language and the validation language and (2) it is possible that the plaintiff could prove that the contradiction would mislead the least sophisticated consumer into disregarding his or her rights under the validation notice.

 Beeman v. Lacy, Katzen, Ryen & Mittleman, 892 F. Supp. 405, 412 (N.D.N.Y. 1995).

 The essence of the plaintiff's claim is that the May 21, 1996 letter violated Section 1692g, as interpreted by the Second Circuit in Russell. The letter states in relevant portion as follows:




Your account with ICS is severely delinquent and has been referred to us for collection. We are extending to you this one time opportunity to pay a discounted amount and clear your credit record with them.


From now until 06/21/96 you can save $ 86.75 on the liability you still owe ICS. This is a 35% savings on your outstanding debt.

  WATCH! - - - - - Balance Your Discount Discounted Due Liability Percent Amount Due $ 1979.00 $ 247.86 35% $ 161.11


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