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Eun Joo Lee v. Forster & Garbus LLP

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 1, 2013

EUN JOO LEE, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
FORSTER & GARBUS LLP and NCOP XI, LLC, Defendants.

Page 483

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 484

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 485

Brian L. Bromberg, Michael Noah Litrownik, Bromberg Law Office, P.C., Moumita Rahman, Law Firm of Moumita Rahman PLLC, New York, NY, for Plaintiff.

Robert L. Arleo, Robert L. Arleo, Esq., Haines Falls, NY, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

DORA L. IRIZARRY, District Judge.

Plaintiff Eun Joo Lee (" Plaintiff" ), individually and behalf of all others similarly situated, brought this putative class action against defendants Forster & Garbus LLP (" Forster" ) and NCOP XI, LLC (" NCOP" and, collectively with Forster, " Defendants" ) asserting claims pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA" ), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. Defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff opposed the motion. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

NCOP allegedly purchased the right to collect from Plaintiff a consumer debt that Plaintiff initially owed to Capital One and was already in default. ( See Am. Compl., Dkt. Entry 4, ¶¶ 17, 21.) NCOP, through its representative, Forster, first attempted to collect the debt by sending Plaintiff a form letter, dated January 31, 2011 (" Collection Letter" ). ( Id. ¶ 23 & Ex. A.) The reference line at the top of the Collection Letter read " AMOUNT DUE: $2,812.15," followed by reference and account numbers for the debt and a line that read, " Re: NCOP XI, LLC A/P/O CAPITAL ONE." ( Id. ¶ 26 & Ex. A.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants sent similar form letters to hundreds, if not thousands, of other consumers in New York State. ( Id. ¶ 28.)

On January 30, 2012, Plaintiff filed the instant action against NCOP and Forster on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated and, on February 15, 2012, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. In the amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the Collection Letter violated Sections 1692e, f, and g of the FDCPA because it failed to set forth the name of the current creditor and was deceptive. ( See id. ¶ 35.) More specifically, Plaintiff claims that there is no such entity as " NCOP XI, LLC A/P/O CAPITAL ONE" and the abbreviation " A/P/O" is confusing. ( Id. )

Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint, asserting that: i) the Collection Letter properly identifies the creditor; ii) the allegedly misleading statement is not material; iii) the Collection Letter was sent by Forster, not NCOP; and iv) Plaintiff's claims against Forster are barred by her filing for bankruptcy. ( See Defs.' Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss Am. Compl., Dkt. Entry 9-1 (" Defs.' Mem." ).) Plaintiff opposed the motion, asserting that: i) the Collection Letter is misleading because it fails to make it clear to whom Plaintiff owed money; ii) Defendants' failure to identify the creditor is material; iii) both NCOP and Forster are responsible for the Collection Letter; and iv) the trustee of ...


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