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Chenault v. Credit Corp Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 1, 2017

RONALD CHENAULT, Plaintiff,
v.
CREDIT CORP SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          DuBois J.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This action arises under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1692. On November 19, 2013, defendant, Credit Corp Solutions Inc. (“CCS”), purchased from Synchrony Bank a debt obligation in the amount of $3, 685.11 allegedly owed by plaintiff, Ronald Chenault. Def. Credit Corp Solutions, Inc.'s Am. Mot. for Summary Judgment 3, Document No. 20, June 16, 2017. On December 7, 2015, defendant filed a Statement of Claim against plaintiff in Philadelphia Municipal Court, alleging an unpaid balance of $3, 820.11, which included the alleged debt of $3, 685.11, plus court costs. Def.'s Am. Mot. for Summary Judgment, Ex. G.

         On June 23, 2016, after a hearing before the Philadelphia Municipal Court, the court entered judgment in favor of Chenault on the grounds that CCS failed to produce sufficient documentary evidence to show that Chenault owed the debt in question. Def.'s Am. Mot. for Summary Judgment at 4; Pl.'s Opp. to Def.'s Am. Mot. for Summary Judgment at 3.

         Following the dismissal of the debt collection action, plaintiff filed suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, alleging that defendant's attempt to collect the debt violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (“FCEUA”), and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices & Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”). Plaintiff also asserted claims for defamation and abuse of the legal process. Compl. ¶¶ 18-34. Defendant removed the action to this Court on November 10, 2016. (Document No. 1). Presently before the Court is defendant's Amended Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Summary Judgment

         The Court will grant a motion for summary judgment if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A factual dispute is material when it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute of fact is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. “[T]he judge's function is not himself to weight the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether . . . there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party.” Id. at 249. The existence of a “mere scintilla” of evidence in support of the nonmoving party is insufficient. Id. at 252. In considering a motion for summary judgment, “the [C]ourt is required to examine the evidence of record in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment, and resolve all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.” Wishkin v. Potter, 467 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007).

         B. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

         Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) to give consumers a private cause of action against debt collectors as protection from “abusive” and “unfair” debt collection practices that “contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692(a). To that end, the FDCPA “regulates and proscribes certain debt collection practices employed by debt collectors.” Gigili v. Palisades Collection L.L.C., No. 06-CV-1428, 2008 WL 3853295 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 14, 2008) (citing 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692c-1692f)). Because the FDCPA is a remedial statute, the Court must broadly construe its provisions to give full effect to its legislative purpose. See Caprio v. Healthcare Recovery Group, LLC, 709 F.3d 142, 148 (3d Cir. 2013).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff's FDCPA claims are predicated on a Municipal Court debt collection action filed by defendant. Plaintiff asserts that defendant is liable under the FDCPA for: harassing, oppressing or abusing plaintiff in connection with the collection of the debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692d; misrepresenting the amount, character, and legal status of a debt in connection with the collection of a consumer debt allegedly due in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e; using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692f; using misrepresentations or deceptive means to collect a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10); and attempting to collect an amount not authorized by contract or law in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1). Compl. ¶ 19. The Court must first determine whether defendant is governed by the FDCPA.

         A. FDCPA Claims

         i. Defendant is ...


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