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Debbie Quamina On Behalf of v. Retrieval Masters Creditors

March 22, 2011

DEBBIE QUAMINA ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND ALL :OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RETRIEVAL MASTERS CREDITORS
BUREAU, INC. D/B/A RMCB, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Korman, J

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

The defendant, Retrieval Masters Creditors Bureau, Inc., is regularly engaged, for profit, in the collection of debts owed by consumers. Complaint ¶¶ 4, 5. In a letter dated July 20, 2009 ("Letter"), defendant demanded payment from Debbie Quamina in the amount of $239.78 on behalf of its client. Complaint at 7. In relevant part, the Letter states:

PAYMENT REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY

Dear Debbie Quamina:

You have apparently chosen to ignore all of our requests for payment. However, be advised that our client has authorized us to continue our collection efforts until you have honored this outstanding obligation.

To avoid further contact, send your payment immediately.

Id. (emphasis in original).

On April 26, 2010, Debbie Quamina commenced the present action, arguing that the Letter fails to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Complaint ¶¶ 11-20. According to plaintiff, defendant violated FDCPA Sections 1692e(5) and (10) by "engaging in deceptive practices and false threats." Id. at ¶ 20. Among other things, plaintiff alleges that the Letter "implies that legal action will be commenced if payment is not made immediately[,]" suggests that defendant "will file a lawsuit and obtain a judgment[,]" and "misleads the consumer by implying that . . . [plaintiff] will not have the opportunity to defend herself." Id. at ¶¶ 14, 18, 19.

The defendant moves for judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).

DISCUSSION

Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

"The standard for granting a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is identical to that of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim." Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2nd Cir. 2001). To survive a Rule 12(c) motion, the "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. ---, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft, 566 U.S. ---, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. In addition to the pleadings, the court may also consider "documents attached to the complaint as an exhibit or incorporated in it by reference, matters of which judicial notice may be taken, or documents either in plaintiffs' possession or of which plaintiffs had knowledge and relied on in bringing suit." Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 153 (2nd Cir. 2002) (internal citations and quotations omitted).

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Under the FDCPA, "[a] debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt." 15 U.S.C. § 1692e. Among the FDCPA's enumerated prohibitions, Section 1692e(5) provides that a debt collector cannot "threat[en] to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken." 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5). Section 1692e(10) similarly prohibits the use of "any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt." 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10). Plaintiff contends that the Letter violates Sections 1692e(5) and (10), because the statement that defendant is "authorized . . . to ...


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