United States District Court, E.D. New York
ALTAGRACIA DIAZ, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
RESIDENTIAL CREDIT SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendant.
Kleinman LLC, Abraham Kleinman, Esq., Of Counsel, Attorneys for the Plaintiff, Uniondale, NY.
Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, Cathleen M. Combs, Esq., & Tiffany N. Hardy, Esq., of Counsel, Attorneys for the Plaintiff, Chicago, IL.
Lowenstein Sandler PC, Jason E. Halper, Esq., of Counsel, Attorneys for the Defendant, New York, NY.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
ARTHUR D. SPATT, District Judge.
On July 31, 2012, the Plaintiff Altagracia Diaz (the "Plaintiff"), on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, commenced this action against the Defendant Residential Credit Solutions, Inc. (the "Defendant" or "RCS") for alleged unlawful credit and collection practices engaged in by the Defendant in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. ("FDCPA").
Presently before the Court is the Plaintiff's renewed motion for class certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P.") 23. In this regard, the Plaintiff seeks to certify a class defined as (a) all individuals in New York (b) who were sent a letter in the form of the form letter attached to the Plaintiff's motion papers as Exhibit A, which was not returned as undeliverable, (c) on or after July 31, 2011, and on or before August 20, 2012; (d) concerning a loan that the Defendant acquired after the loan was deemed in default.
Also before the Court is a letter, dated May 2, 2014, notifying the Court that the parties had reached an agreement to settle this case, subject to the Court's review and approval pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e).
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the Plaintiff's renewed motion for class certification and directs the parties, within twenty days of the date of this Order, to submit the proposed terms of the settlement agreement so that the Court may make a determination as to whether to preliminarily approve the proposed class action settlement in this case.
A. Underlying Facts
The Defendant is a servicing company that manages performing and nonperforming residential mortgage loans. According to the Plaintiff, the Defendant is a "special servicer, " which means that it services distressed mortgages and attempts to collect on consumer mortgages that are in default when the Defendant first becomes involved. (Amend. Compl., ¶ 6.)
On or about May 5, 2012, the Defendant sent a validation notice to the Plaintiff, an individual, seeking to collect an alleged consumer debt. In this regard, the validation notice claimed that the Plaintiff owed a sum to JP Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Corporation ("JP Morgan") in connection with a mortgage loan. The total debt was for $370, 430.91.
According to the Plaintiff, the validation notice "is a form letter (designated OL0315) which [the] [D]efendant uses for the purpose of attempting to comply with 15 U.S.C. § 1692g." (Amend. Compl., ¶ 9.) In addition, it is alleged that the "Plaintiff did not receive any other document from [the] [D]efendant purporting to contain the initial disclosures required by 15 U.S.C. § 1692g." (Amend. Compl., ¶ 10.)
The Defendant's May 5, 2012 letter advised the Plaintiff as follows:
You may notify RCS in writing within thirty days of receipt of this letter that the debt or any portion of the debt is disputed. If no notice is received by RCS within the 30 day period, it will be assumed that the above information is accurate and the debt is valid. If/once written notice is received within the 30 day period, RCS will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against you, the consumer. A copy of the verification of debt or judgment will be mailed to the mailing address ...