United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
GLASSER, Senior United States District Judge
Moshe Weber commenced this action against Professional Claims
Bureau, Inc. (“PCB”), the Defendant, seeking
damages and declaratory relief for alleged violations of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15
U.S.C. § 1692 et seq, and a common law claim
for invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion. Pending
before the Court is PCB's motion for judgment on the
pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, which Plaintiff opposes. For the following
reasons, as well as those set forth in Jones v.
Professional Claims Bureau, No. 16-CV-1250 in which the
Complaint is nearly identical to that herein, Defendant's
motion is GRANTED.
PCB is in the business of collecting debts owed to others.
ECF 8, Amended Complaint, (“Am. Compl.”)
¶¶ 3, 4. Plaintiff is a New York resident who
incurred a debt primarily for personal, family or household
purposes. Id. ¶¶ 2, 9. On or about
December 30, 2015, PCB mailed a letter to the Plaintiff
seeking to recover on the unpaid financial obligation.
Id. ¶ 10; ECF 18 Exh. A. The letter begins
“THIS ACCOUNT IS SERIOUSLY PAST DUE.” ECF 18 Exh.
A. As the letter continues, “Payment is expected within
10 days of this notice. If this account is not resolved we
will assume you have no intention of settling this
outstanding debt.” Id. ¶ 11; ECF 18 Exh.
A. Reading this letter caused the Plaintiff to “become
extremely upset and disheartened” due to his
“extremely difficult financial struggle.” Am.
Compl. ¶ 14. Plaintiff did not make a payment within 10
days of receiving the letter, and “nothing
changed.” Id. ¶¶ 12-13.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that “[a]fter
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay a
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
In deciding a 12(c) motion, the Court applies the same
standard applicable to dismissals pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 160 (2d
Cir. 2010). To survive a 12(c) motion, Plaintiffs must plead
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true” to
state a claim that is plausible on its face, from which the
Court can draw the reasonable inference that the Defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
FDCPA was enacted in response to a “serious national
problem” of debt collection abuse, “including
obscene or profane language, threats of violence, telephone
calls at unreasonable hours, misrepresentation of a
consumer's legal rights, disclosing a consumer's
personal affairs to friends, neighbors, or an employer,
obtaining information about a consumer through false
pretense, impersonating public officials and attorneys, and
simulating legal process.” S. REP. 95-382, 2, 1977
U.S.C.C.A.N. 1695, 1696. The enacted purpose of the statute
was to eliminate such “abusive debt collection
practices.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e). In pursuit of its
objective, the statute restricts, inter alia, the use of
false or misleading representations and the harassment or
abuse of any person in connection with collection of a debt,
and broadly prohibits “unfair” and
“unconscionable” debt collection practices. See
§§ 1692d, 1692e, 1692f.
analyzing whether a particular communication runs afoul of
the FDCPA, courts apply an objective “least
sophisticated consumer” standard. Greco v. Trauner,
Cohen & Thomas, L.L.P., 412 F.3d 360, 363 (2d Cir.
2005) (citation omitted). In so doing, a defendant's
communication is viewed “from the perspective of a
debtor who is uninformed, naïve, or trusting, but is
making basic, reasonable and logical deductions and
inferences.” Dewees v. Legal Servicing, LLC,
506 F.Supp.2d 128, 132 (E.D.N.Y. 2007). “It should be
emphasized that in crafting a norm that protects the naive
and the credulous the courts have carefully preserved the
concept of reasonableness.” Clomon v. Jackson,
988 F.2d 1314, 1319 (2d Cir. 1993).
recover under the FDCPA, a plaintiff must satisfy three
threshold requirements: (1) the plaintiff must be a
“consumer, ” (2) the defendant must be a
“debt collector;” and (3) the defendant must have
committed some act or omission in violation of the FDCPA.
Oscar v. Prof'l Claims Bureau, Inc., No.
CV11-5319 SJF WDW, 2012 WL 2367128, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. June 1,
2012), report and recommendation adopted, No.
CV-11-5319 SJF WDW, 2012 WL 2367136 (E.D.N.Y. June 19, 2012).
The parties do not dispute the satisfaction of the first two
statute claimed to be offended by the Defendant provides as
follows: a “debt collector may not engage in any
conduct the natural consequence of which is to
harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the
collection of a debt.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692d. The
letter claimed to violate that statute, as reported above,
advises, in essence, that Plaintiff's debt is seriously
past due, it is important that it be resolved, and it is
suggested that he contact the sender by telephone or mail
immediately. It goes ...