The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ludwig, J.
This class action is under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. Jurisdiction is federal question. 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Plaintiff's second amended complaint alleges that defendants Rochester Credit Center, Inc. and Collecto, Inc. d/b/a EOS CCA violated the FDCPA by including "The Credit Bureau" on collection letters. Second amended complaint, ¶¶ 1, 11. According to the pleadings, a "credit bureau" "is commonly understood to be an agency that assembles credit histories and produces credit reports." Id., ¶ 12. As such, it is a "consumer reporting agency" as that term is defined under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(f).*fn1 It is different from a collection agency.*fn2 Therefore, plaintiffs' pleading alleges, the use of the name is both deceptive and misleading, and in violation of a specific provision of the
FDCPA banning the false implication that a debt collector is a credit reporting agency. 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e, 1692e(16).*fn3
Defendants' motion for summary judgment contends that RCC does act as a credit reporting agency. Therefore, use of the trade name "The Credit Bureau" is not false, and does not violate § 1692e(16). Moreover, the motion alleges, the prominent reference to its "Collection Division" in the heading of the letter, and the inclusion of statutorily prescribed language in the body of the letter, make clear to the "least sophisticated consumer" that the letter is from a debt collector, not a credit bureau. Therefore, the letter does not violate § 1692e. However, summary judgment must be denied.*fn4
The summary judgment record contains the following:*fn5 On February 12, 2009, plaintiff received a letter regarding a debt allegedly due.
Second amended complaint, ¶ 10; February 12, 2009 letter, Exhibit A to second amended complaint. The letter was sent by the "CREDIT BUREAU OF ROCHESTER." Exhibit A. The heading of the letter reads:
The CREDIT BUREAU Collection Division
Id. The letter ends, at the bottom:: "**THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT BY A DEBT COLLECTOR AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE." Id.
In December 2008, Collecto, Inc. purchased The Credit Bureau d/b/a Rochester Credit Bureau. Deposition Testimony of Jill Reed, at 7-8.*fn6 Previously, the company operated under the names "The Credit Bureau," "Rochester Credit Bureau," and "Rochester Credit Center, Inc." Id. RCC at one time operated as an "original credit reporting agency," but sold this arm of its business to Equifax in the 1980s. Id., at 29. At that time, RCC became a reseller of credit reports and, in that capacity, obtains consumer reports, repackages them, and sells them to clients.*fn7 Id., at 15, 30-39, 65-66.
At the time of the purchase of The Credit Bureau, the company's principal business was debt collection. Deposition testimony of John Burns, at 13.*fn8 While a division of RCC was a credit reporting agency in prior years, defendants were aware that RCC had divested its credit reporting business before 2000. Id., at 16. In February 2009, at the time at issue, RCC was engaged only in debt collection and was not engaged in any form of credit reporting. Id., at 17.
As to defendants' operation as a credit reporting agency, according to defendants' answers to interrogatories:
8. Set forth in detail your practice of assembling or evaluating credit or other information on consumers for the purpose of ...