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Taylor v. Santander Bank

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 6, 2018

JUNE TAYLOR, Plaintiff
v.
SANTANDER BANK, Defendant

          CONNER, C.J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. 18)

          WILLIAM I. ARBUCKLE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On December 29, 2016, Plaintiff June Taylor (“Plaintiff”) initiated this pro se action alleging that Defendant Santander Bank (“Defendant”) violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (Doc. 10).

         Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. (Doc.18). Defendant filed its Motion, and a corresponding Brief in Support, on July 6, 2017. Plaintiff has not filed a brief in opposition. In the absence of a response by Plaintiff, I deem Defendant's Motion ripe for resolution.[1] For the reasons explained herein, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On December 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging that Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (Doc. 1). The Complaint filed, however, appeared to be incomplete and was not signed by Plaintiff.

         On January 20, 2017, the Court provided Plaintiff with a copy of its Standing Practice Order in Pro Se Cases. (Doc. 3). This Order provides, in relevant part, that:

If the moving party does file a timely brief in support of his or her motion, Local Rule 7.6 provides that the party against whom the motion and brief have been filed must file a brief in opposition to the moving party's motion, together with any opposing evidentiary material, such as affidavits, deposition transcripts, or other documents, within fourteen (14) days after service of the moving party's brief on the opposing party.
If the party opposing the motion does not file his or her brief and any evidentiary material within the 14-day time frame, Local Rule 7.6 provides that he or she shall be deemed not to oppose the moving party's motion. The motion may therefore be granted if: (1) the court finds it meritorious; or (2) the opposing party fails to comply with Local Rule 7.6 despite being ordered to do so by the court.

(Doc. 3, p. 2).

         On February 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion requesting leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Doc. 4). On February 23, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's IFP Motion, but ordered that service of the Complaint be held in abeyance until Plaintiff filed either a complete copy of her Complaint or filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 5).

         On February 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document entitled “Exhibit D.” (Doc. 6). Exhibit D appears to be a letter sent by Plaintiff to Defendant in March of 2015. Id. There is no Exhibit A, B, or C in the case record.

         On April 12, 2017, the Court, once again, instructed Plaintiff to file a complete copy of her Complaint or an amended complaint, and was admonished that failure to timely comply with the Court's Order could result in dismissal of this case for failure to prosecute. (Doc. 7).

         On April 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. 8). Like the original Complaint, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint was a single page, was not signed, and included a one-page exhibit-this time a copy of an April 2017 letter from Defendant addressed to Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff did not sign her Amended Complaint. Id.

         On April 27, 2017, the Court directed Plaintiff to file and sign a second amended complaint. (Doc. 9). The Court also observed, for Plaintiff's benefit, that her Amended Complaint did not “allege sufficient facts to state a legal claim of any sort, ” because it contained only conclusory legal conclusions. Id.

         On May 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 10). Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is almost identical to her First Amended Complaint with two notable exceptions-it is signed, and it includes a complaint submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a one-page document entitled “Investigation Report” attached as exhibits. In her Second Amended Complaint, under the heading “Nature of the Action” Plaintiff alleges that:

1. This is a Claim under The Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq)[sic], in connection with violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by Santander Bank.
2. Santander Bank violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by not verifying and validating her mortgage debt as requested on March 02, 2015[sic].
3. The Defendants wrongful course of conduct is as stated to be unfair billing, not providing licenses to collect a debt, and not providing a validate [sic] OMB Control Number under the Paper reduction Act of 1995.

(Doc. 10, p. 1). Under the heading “Background of Wrongdoing” Plaintiff states “[s]ee investigation report[.]” An attached document entitled “Investigation Report, ” provides that:

On March 02, 2015, Mrs. June Taylor requested that her Mortgage debt to be validated by Santander Bank. Vice President Kathleen M. Koslesky, of Santander Bank failed to validate Mrs. June Taylor's Mortgage debt. Santander Bank, wrongful course of action is that Santander Bank failed to validate Mrs. June Taylor's Mortgage debt by not providing their license to collect a debt, and not providing a validate[sic] OMB Control Number under the Paper reduction Act of 1995. By not validating Mrs. June Taylor's Mortgage Debt, Santander Bank has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Submitted by,
Yom and Hale Paralegal Services

(Doc. 10, p. 7).

         Attached to the Second Amended Complaint is a letter from Kathleen M. Koslesky, the Vice President of Mortgage Operations at Santander Bank. (Doc. 10, p. 6). The letter was sent in response to correspondence sent by Plaintiff on March 2, 2016. It provides, in relevant part, that:

In your correspondence you are requesting to be provided with evidence that you are responsible for this [mortgage] debt, that Santander cease all adverse credit reporting to the consumer reporting agencies and a cessation by Santander of all telephone ...

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