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Blandina v. Midland Funding, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 23, 2014

VIOLET P. BLANDINA, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff
v.
MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC, et al., Defendants

For VIOLET P. BLANDINA, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, Plaintiff: DAVID A. SEARLES, LEAD ATTORNEY, JAMES A. FRANCIS, FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C., PHILADELPHIA, PA; CARLO SABATINI, SABATINI LAW FIRM LLC, DUNMORE, PA.

For MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC, MIDLAND CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendants: ANDREW M. SCHWARTZ, LEAD ATTORNEY, RONALD M. METCHO, II, MARSHALL DENNEHEY WARNER COLEMAN & GOGGIN, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

NITZA I. QUIÑ ONES ALEJANDRO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

INTRODUCTION

Before this Court is a motion for class certification filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 23 by Violet P. Blandina (" Plaintiff"), [ECF 36], the opposition filed by Defendants Midland Funding, LLC (" MF") and Midland Credit Management, Inc. (" MCM") (collectively " Defendants"), [ECF 39], and Plaintiff's reply. [ECF 46]. The motion has been fully briefed and for the reasons stated herein, the motion for class certification is granted.

BACKGROUND

The largely undisputed relevant facts of Plaintiff's claims are summarized as follows:

Plaintiff, a resident of Pennsylvania, obtained an account with Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc., which she used for personal, family, or household purposes. At some point in time, Plaintiff defaulted on her payments. Subsequently, Defendant MF, a purchaser of defaulted consumer debt, acquired the defaulted Verizon account. By letters dated March 9, 2011, July 30, 2011, and September 10, 2011, Defendant MCM, a collector of consumer debt contracted by Defendant MF, attempted to collect Plaintiff's debt. In each of the three collection letters, Defendant MCM represented that Plaintiff owed $568.10.
On March 8, 2012, Defendant MCM sent Plaintiff a fourth collection letter which again repeated that the amount owed on the defaulted account was $568.10. The letter also included the following language:
Benefits of Paying!
We will stop
applying interest to
your account!
Over the course of this litigation, Defendants have admitted that no interest had accrued and no interest would accrue on Plaintiff's account, or on any other similar account acquired by Defendant MF from Verizon.

In her complaint, [ECF 1], and amended complaint, [ECF 2], Plaintiff asserts claims on behalf of herself and a purported class of similarly-situated debtors, averring that Defendants violated various provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA") when sending her and the purported class members the above-described collection letter which misrepresented that interest was accruing on the debt owed, when, in fact, interest was not.

In the instant motion, Plaintiff moves to certify a class of similarly-situated debtors based on the allegations in her amended complaint.[1] [ECF 36]. Specifically, Plaintiff defines the proposed class members as:

All consumers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to whom, from March 5, 2012, and continuing through the resolution of this action, Defendants sent a letter substantially in the form attached to the Amended Complaint as Exhibit A, in an attempt to ...

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