205 F.3d 323 (7th Cir. 2000), 99-1217, Marshall-Mosby v Corporate Receivables Inc.

Docket Nº:99-1217
Citation:205 F.3d 323
Party Name:JEWEL MARSHALL-MOSBY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. CORPORATE RECEIVABLES, INC., AND JOHN DOES 1-10, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.
Case Date:February 22, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 323

205 F.3d 323 (7th Cir. 2000)

JEWEL MARSHALL-MOSBY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

CORPORATE RECEIVABLES, INC., AND JOHN DOES 1-10, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.

No. 99-1217

In the United States Court of Appeals, For the Seventh Circuit

February 22, 2000

Argued May 10, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 98 C 4430--Ann Claire Williams, Judge.

Page 324

Daniel A. Edelman, Cathleen M. Combs (argued), Edelman, Combs, & Latturner, Chicago, IL, for plaintiff-appellant.

David J. Chizewer (argued), Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz, Chicago, IL, for defendant-appellee.

Bauer, Kanne and Evans, Circuit Judges.

Kanne, Circuit Judge.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692-1692o, mandates that debt collectors send a written validation notice containing certain information to a consumer debtor within five days after initial communication. The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor and a statement that, unless the debtor "disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector." 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692g(a)(1)-(3). In addition, the notice must disclose that the debt collector, upon written request by the debtor within thirty days, will provide verification of the debt and/or provide the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor. 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692g(a)(4)-(5). If the debtor notifies the debt collector that the debt is disputed, or requests the name and address of the original creditor, within the

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thirty-day period, then the debt collector "shall cease collection of the debt" until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or the requested information is mailed to the debtor. 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692g(b).

On March 18, 1998, plaintiff Jewel Marshall-Mosby received a one-page form collection letter from defendant Corporate Receivables, Inc. ("CRI") that stated in pertinent part:

*** THIS HAS BEEN SENT TO YOU BY A COLLECTION AGENCY ***

THE ABOVE ACCOUNT HAS BEEN PLACED WITH THIS OFFICE FOR IMMEDIATE COLLECTION. IF WE DO NOT RECEIVE THE BALANCE IN FULL OR HEAR FROM YOU, WE WILL BEGIN AGGRESSIVE COLLECTION PROCEDURES TO RECOVER THIS DEBT. PROTECT YOUR CREDIT--YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET.

UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS REGARDING COLLECTION AGENCY LAW OR PRACTICE MAY BE SENT TO THE STATE BANKING DEPARTMENT, STATE OF ARIZONA, 2910 N. 44TH STREET STE. 310, PHOENIX, AZ 85018.

FOR EACH CHECK THAT IS RETURNED DUE TO NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS, THERE WILL BE A $15.00 SERVICE CHARGE.

THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT. ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE.

UNLESS YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE THAT YOU DISPUTE THE VALIDITY OF THE DEBT OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, THIS OFFICE WILL ASSUME THIS DEBT IS VALID. IF YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FROM RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT OR OBTAIN A COPY OF A JUDGMENT AND MAIL YOU A COPY OF SUCH JUDGMENT OR VERIFICATION. IF YOU REQUEST THIS OFFICE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR, IF DIFFERENT FROM THE CURRENT CREDITOR.

Marshall-Mosby does not dispute that the collection letter which she received from CRI contained the validation notice required by the FDCPA.

On July 20, 1998, Marshall-Mosby filed her complaint in district court against CRI and John Does 1-10 claiming that the letter violated 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692g under the FDCPA because language in the letter contradicts and "overshadows" the disclosures required by the FDCPA. A copy of the CRI letter was appended to the complaint as the lone exhibit. The complaint identified defendants John Does 1-10 as unnamed officers, directors and employees of CRI personally involved in the execution of the letter. On November 6, 1998, CRI filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

On January 21, 1999, the district court granted CRI's motion to dismiss. It ruled that the CRI letter "does not create the confusion and contradiction that other collection letters struck down in this court have" and "even the most unsophisticated consumer would know that other options, besides immediate payment, exist." Plaintiff appealed the district court's Rule...

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