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Ecker v. Advantage Assets II, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 1, 2017

ALLENE M. ECKER, Plaintiff,
v.
ADVANTAGE ASSETS II, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Cathy Bissoon United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Defendants Advantage Assets II, Inc. and LTD Financial Services, LP (“Defendants”)'s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 12). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         I. MEMORANDUM

         A. BACKGROUND

         According to Defendants' Motion, Assets II, Inc. (“Advantage”) is a “debt buyer” that “retained LTD [Financial Services, LP (“LTD”)] to collect on the judgment that AA II obtained against Plaintiff in or about 2012 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.” (Doc. 14 at 2). On December 15, 2016, an employee of LTD called Plaintiff to collect on that judgment. The following is a transcript of the relevant portion of that discussion:

LTD: Okay, are you aware I mean, do you work?
Plaintiff: Yes, I do.
LTD: Cause just be aware, check your state law and find out what judgments, what they can do to access or get the funds that is theirs because once a judge signs off on a judgment they have certain rights to go in and get money and sometimes it can be without your permission, because it has been signed off on.
Plaintiff: Okay LTD: Okay so check those state laws where you are at to see if you have any property, there may be possibility of liens that are on there.
Plaintiff: I don't.
LTD: property as well. So check those laws if you are in the PA and find out what is it they can do in that state if you have an active judgment.

See Affidavit of Sondra Jurica (Doc. 13-1) at ¶ 5; Audio Recording of the December 15, 2016 Telephone Call (Exhibit A).

         Plaintiff alleges that “[a]s a result of that conversation, and the intonation and articulation used by the debt collector, Ms. Ecker believed that her wages would be subject to garnishment by Advantage.” (Doc. 9 at ¶ 41). Plaintiff asserts that wage garnishment would not be permitted under Pennsylvania law. (Doc. 9 at ¶¶ 35, 50-54). Accordingly, Plaintiff claims that the threat to garnish wages during December 15, 2016 Telephone Call was “false, deceptive, and misleading, ” and thus violated Sections 1692e(2), 1692e(5), 1692e(10) of the FDCPA. (Doc. 9 at ¶¶ 50- 56, 60). Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants' conduct during the December 15, 2016 Telephone Call violated Section 1692f of the FDCPA. (Doc. 9 at ¶ 61).

         B. STAND ...


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