Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships LLC, No. 08-1521.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtEasterbrook
Citation557 F.3d 755
Docket NumberNo. 08-1521.
Decision Date04 March 2009
PartiesMarylou HAHN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. TRIUMPH PARTNERSHIPS LLC and Allied International Credit Corp., Defendants-Appellees.
557 F.3d 755
Marylou HAHN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
TRIUMPH PARTNERSHIPS LLC and Allied International Credit Corp., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 08-1521.
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.
Decided March 4, 2009.
Argued February 12, 2009.

[557 F.3d 756]

Daniel A. Edelman (argued), Edelman, Combs & Latturner, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Joseph S. Messer (argued), Messer & Stilp, Chicago, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and FLAUM and MANION, Circuit Judges.

EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge.


Triumph Partnerships bought some overdue credit card debts from HSBC Bank USA. One of Triumph's affiliates sent Marylou Hahn a letter saying that she owed $1,134.55. According to the letter, $1,051.91 of this was an "AMOUNT DUE" and the remaining $82.64 was "INTEREST DUE". The letter told Hahn that she should pay Triumph rather than HSBC Bank and that the total of $1,134.55 was "inclusive of interest accrued in accordance with the terms of your original agreement." The letter also offered to accept $567.27 in satisfaction of the debt. (We refer to Triumph Partnerships and its affiliate collectively as "Triumph.")

Hahn does not deny owing $1,134.55. Instead of paying, however, she filed this suit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Hahn relies on 15 U.S.C. § 1692e, which says that "[a] debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt." In particular, § 1692e(2)(A) provides, a debt collector may not falsely represent "the character, amount, or legal status of any debt". According to Hahn's complaint, Triumph misrepresented the "character" of her debt when it said that the interest due was $82.64. Hahn maintains, and Triumph concedes, that the $82.64 represents interest accrued after it purchased the debt from HSBC. The $1,051.91 includes interest that accrued while HSBC was Hahn's creditor. Thus the representation that "interest due" equals $82.64 was false, Hahn submits. The district court, however, granted summary judgment in Triumph's favor, ruling that the letter's statement is true.

Hahn owes more than $82.64 in interest. But the proposition that $82.64 of the total is "interest due" is true. Hahn reads the statement "interest due" as if it were "this is all the interest due". Equivalently, Hahn could argue that "amount due" should be read as if it were "principal due". The letter's actual language, however, does not commit either of these errors. An "amount" that is due can include principal,

557 F.3d 757

interest, penalties, attorneys' fees, and other components. Interest then can be added to that total. (Hahn does not say that her agreement with HSBC Bank forbade compound interest.) And we know from Wahl v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., 556 F.3d 643 (7th Cir.2009), that there would be no falsity even if the "amount due" had been described as "principal...

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291 practice notes
  • McDermott v. Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., CIVIL ACTION NO. 09-10159-MBB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • November 20, 2012
    ...the "interest due" as a certain amount without subdividing the amount into principal and interest. See Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir. 2009). To provide another example, stating that the amount of the "debt may vary daily based on additional interest, late char......
  • United States v. Daugerdas, No. S3 09 Cr. 581(WHP).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • June 4, 2012
    ...in their possession only to claim later that such information resulted in a violation of their rights. For example, in Brazelton, 557 F.3d at 755, counsel for the defendant did not challenge for cause a juror who was the second cousin to the victim of a shooting by the defendant, which led ......
  • Michelo v. Nat'l Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-2, 18 Civ. 1781 (PGG), 18 Civ. 7692 (PGG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 11, 2019
    ...is an ordinary element of any federal claim based on a false or misleading statement.’ " (quoting Hahn v. Triumph P'ships LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir. 2009) )) "In other words, ‘a false statement is only actionable under the FDCPA if it has the potential to affect the decision-making pr......
  • Lipscomb v. Raddatz Law Firm, P. L.L.C., Civil Action No. 14–1958 (JEB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • June 18, 2015
    ...notices."). Some circuits have, additionally, articulated a materiality requirement. See, e.g., Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships, LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir.2009) (explaining that "[m]ateriality is an ordinary element of any federal claim based on a false or misleading statement" and holdi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
291 cases
  • McDermott v. Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, P.C., CIVIL ACTION NO. 09-10159-MBB
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • November 20, 2012
    ...the "interest due" as a certain amount without subdividing the amount into principal and interest. See Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir. 2009). To provide another example, stating that the amount of the "debt may vary daily based on additional interest, late char......
  • United States v. Daugerdas, No. S3 09 Cr. 581(WHP).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • June 4, 2012
    ...in their possession only to claim later that such information resulted in a violation of their rights. For example, in Brazelton, 557 F.3d at 755, counsel for the defendant did not challenge for cause a juror who was the second cousin to the victim of a shooting by the defendant, which led ......
  • Michelo v. Nat'l Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-2, 18 Civ. 1781 (PGG), 18 Civ. 7692 (PGG)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • October 11, 2019
    ...is an ordinary element of any federal claim based on a false or misleading statement.’ " (quoting Hahn v. Triumph P'ships LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir. 2009) )) "In other words, ‘a false statement is only actionable under the FDCPA if it has the potential to affect the decision-making pr......
  • Lipscomb v. Raddatz Law Firm, P. L.L.C., Civil Action No. 14–1958 (JEB)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • June 18, 2015
    ...notices."). Some circuits have, additionally, articulated a materiality requirement. See, e.g., Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships, LLC, 557 F.3d 755, 757 (7th Cir.2009) (explaining that "[m]ateriality is an ordinary element of any federal claim based on a false or misleading statement" and holdi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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