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Johns v. Northland Group, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 31, 2014

GAYLE J. JOHNS, Plaintiff,
v.
NORTHLAND GROUP, INC., Defendant

Page 591

For GAYLE J. JOHNS, Plaintiff: FREDERICK EDWARD DAVIS, IV, LEAD ATTORNEY, DAVIS CONSUMER LAW FIRM, FT WASHINGTON, PA.

For NORTHLAND GROUP, INC., Defendant: RICHARD J. PERR, LEAD ATTORNEY, FINEMAN KREKSTEIN & HARRIS, P.C., PHILADELPHIA, PA; JENNIFER TATUM ROOT, FINEMAN KREKSTEIN & HARRIS, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

OPINION

Page 592

JOEL H. SLOMSKY, J.

I. INTRODUCTION

This case arises out of Defendant Northland Group, Inc.'s attempt to collect on a debt Plaintiff Gayle J. Johns owed to Bloomingdale's and Macy's. Plaintiff contends that collection of the debt was time-barred under the relevant statute of limitations. In addition, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's communications with Plaintiff regarding the debt violated provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Plaintiff's Complaint was originally filed in state court and was removed by Defendant to this Court on May 23, 2014. (Doc. No. 1.) On July 2, 2014, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 6.) Plaintiff Responded to the Motion on July 17, 2014. (Doc. No. 7.) For reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss the Complaint.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On June 7, 2013, Plaintiff received a letter from Defendant, a company that handles debt collection matters. (Doc. No. 1, Ex. A, ¶ ¶ 2, 14). The letter was sent in regard to Plaintiff's account with Bloomingdale's. (Id. at 13.) The top right corner of the letter stated:

ACCOUNT INFORMATION
Creditor: Department Stores National Bank
Store Name: Bloomingdale's
Original Account #: ****1561

(Id.) The letter stated in the middle of the page:

Your Past Due Account Balance $1,936.67
Your Settlement Offer $1,258.86

(Id.) The content of the letter reads as follows:

Bloomingdale's will allow you to settle your account for $1,258.86 in 3 payments starting on 6/28/13. We are not obligated to renew this offer. The payment can be no more than 30 days apart. Once all three payments have been paid to our office on time, a letter will be sent confirming the above referenced account has been resolved. Please send in the payments along with a payment stub to the address below. Make check payable to DSNB.
This is an attempt to collect a debt by a debt collector and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This communication is sent to you by Northland Group, Inc., a debt collector and a member of ACA International. This collection agency is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

(Id.)

On December 10, 2013, Plaintiff received another letter from Defendant in reference to her account with Macy's. Like the June 7, 2013 letter, the top right corner provided the following information:

ACCOUNT INFORMATION

Page 593

Creditor: Department Stores National Bank
Store Name: Macy's
Original Account #: ****5936

(Doc No. 1, Ex. A, at 12.) The letter stated in the middle of the page:

Your past due account balance: $8,993.20
Your settlement offer: $4,046.94

The balance of the letter reads as follows:

Dear Gayle D Johns,
The above referenced Macy's account has been assigned to Northland Group, Inc. for collection. Macy's is willing to reduce your balance by offering you a settlement. We are not obligated to renew this offer. Upon receipt and clearance of $4,096.94, a letter will be sent confirming the above referenced account has been resolved. ...

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