A similar result was reached upon an analogous set of facts in
Jang v. A.M. Miller and Assocs., 122 F.3d 480 (7th Cir. 1997).
There, plaintiffs attempted to state an FDCPA claim based on the
allegation that the debt collector never intended to obtain debt
verification when such information was requested by a consumer.
Instead, upon receiving such a request, the debt collector would
simply return the file to the creditor and cease all collection
efforts. In Jang, as here, the debt collector complied with
the FDCPA by including the required debt validation notice.
Where there had been such compliance, the Seventh Circuit held
that no FDCPA "false and misleading collection letter" cause of
action was stated. Jang, 122 F.3d at 484. Recognizing that "in
the real world" mistakes may be made as to whether or not a debt
was actually in arrears, the court noted that where the debt
collector could not verify a debt, collection efforts would
cease and no FDCPA liability would be incurred. Jang, 122 F.3d
at 483. Similarly here, Revenue can incur no liability where it
has complied with the debt validation procedure set forth in the
FDCPA — even if the actual debt is not in arrears.
Likewise, in Lindbergh v. Transworld Systems, Inc.,
846 F. Supp. 175 (Conn. 1994), the court rejected a plaintiffs
purported FDCPA cause of action on the ground that plaintiff
failed to take advantage of the statutory debt validation
procedure but, instead, instituted litigation. There, as here,
the plaintiff ignored the properly communicated FDCPA debt
validation procedure. Instead, plaintiff alleged that the
defendant debt collector violated the FDCPA by attempting to
collect a debt that was barred from collection by the statute of
limitations. Holding that no FDCPA cause of action was stated,
the court granted the defendant debt collector's motion for
In sum, the court holds that where a debt collector has
included appropriate language regarding the FDCPA debt
validation procedure, the allegation that the debt is invalid,
standing alone, cannot form the basis of a lawsuit alleging
fraudulent or deceptive practices in connection with the
collection of a debt. Likewise, a consumer alleging that a debt
referenced in a collection letter is not valid, is required to
follow the clear and orderly procedure set forth in the FDCPA.
Such a consumer may not institute an immediate lawsuit alleging
that the letter violates the FDCPA. To allow such lawsuits would
discourage use of the detailed statutory procedure. Instead,
individuals would be encouraged to resort to litigation (and the
prospect of an attorney's fee award) instead of being encouraged
to communicate directly with the debt collector to expeditiously
resolve their claim. As set forth by the court in Lindbergh,
this court, too, "can only wonder why the plaintiff has chosen
to impose the significant burden of litigation on both the
defendant and this court, instead of simply following that
cost-effective procedures provided by the FDCPA specifically
designed to facilitate the exchange of information between debt
collectors and debtors." Lindbergh, 846 F. Supp. at 179.
Because Plaintiffs claim is based only upon the assertion that
the debt sought to be collected is not valid, she fails to state
an FDCPA cause of action and Revenue is entitled to summary
For the foregoing reasons, the court grants the motion of
defendant Revenue Maximization Group, Inc. for summary judgment.
The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate the motion.