Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

RUMPLER v. PHILLIPS & COHEN ASSOCIATES

June 17, 2002

AVIGAL RUMPLER, PLAINTIFF,
V.
PHILLIPS & COHEN ASSOCIATES, LTD., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Glasser, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

This action concerns a debt collection letter sent by defendant Phillips & Cohen Associates, Ltd. ("P & C") to plaintiff Avigal Rumpler ("Rumpler"). Rumpler alleges that the letter violates various sections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the "FDCPA" or the "Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. P & C now moves for judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, P & C's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

After Harris Bank referred Rumpler's account to P & C, P & C sent Rumpler a collection letter (the "Letter"), which forms the basis of this lawsuit. The Letter is in two sections: the top section is a coupon that can be detached from the rest of the Letter and mailed with a payment, and the bottom section is, in essence, an invoice. The Letter is printed on letterhead bearing P & C's name, address and telephone number. The bottom section of the Letter appears as follows:

Re: Client: HARRIS BANK — 2ND Client Acct#: 4681211011422863 Our Acct#: 406503 Balance: $2389.43

Dear AVIGAL RUMPLER:

Your account has been referred to our office for collection on behalf of the above referenced creditor. To resolve this matter and prevent any further collection activity, full payment must be sent to this office at the address above.
IT IS NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO NEGLECT THIS ACCOUNT ANY FURTHER! IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, IMMEDIATELY CONTACT OUR OFFICE AT THE ABOVE TELEPHONE NUMBER.

Sincerely,

Adam S. Cohen, Esq.

Executive Vice President

* * IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION * *

Unless you notify this office within thirty (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 thirty (30) days from receiving this notice, this office will: obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you copy of such verification or judgment. If you request this office in writing within thirty (30) days of receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. This communication is from a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. (Compl.Ex. A.) Mr. Cohen's signature is not on the Letter.

Not long after receiving the Letter, Rumpler commenced this action. Rumpler contends that P & C violated the FDCPA in three ways. First, she alleges that the Letter uses "false representations and deceptive means in an attempt to collect a debt," in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10). (See id. ¶ 1.15(a).) Rumpler appears to base this claim on her allegation that the Letter was "mass-produced" and "computer generated," and that it was "designed to give the impression that [it] was forwarded by an attorney when [it] was not personally reviewed by an attorney." (Id. ¶ 1.10.) Next, Rumpler asserts that the Letter violates 15 U.S.C. § 1692g because it "contradicts [her] right to dispute the debt within the first thirty day period and does not fully and accurately set forth [her] rights." (See id. ¶¶ 1.6, 1.15(b).) Finally, Rumpler alleges that P & C violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692j by purportedly "creating a deceptive form knowing that such form would be used to create the false belief in a consumer that a person other than the creditor of such consumer is participating in the collection of or in an attempt to collect a debt such consumer allegedly owes such creditor, when in fact such person is not participating." (See id. ¶ 1.15(c).)

P & C now moves for judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. P & C raises three arguments in support of its motion. First, P & C argues that there has been no violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g, because the Letter contains a proper "validation notice," and in no way contradicts or "overshadows" Rumpler's right to contest the debt within thirty days of receipt of the Letter. (See Def. Mem. at 4-8.) Second, P & C argues that the Letter does not violate 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10), because the Letter does not falsely imply that it is from a lawyer or law firm threatening litigation. (See id. at 8-11.) Lastly, P & C argues that there has been no violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692j, because that section applies only when a third-party permits its name to be used on mass-produced collection letters (also known as "dunning" ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.