MEMORANDUM & ORDER
I. LEO GLASSER, Sr., District Judge.
Plaintiff Esther Tchatchanachvili commenced this action against the Defendant, Professional Claims Bureau, Inc., ("PCB") seeking damages and declaratory relief for Defendant's alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692
Defendant is in the business of collecting debts owed to others. ECF 1. ("Compl.") ¶¶ 3-4. Plaintiff is a resident of New York who incurred a debt, the source and amount of which is not known to the Court, "primarily for personal, financial or household purposes."
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that "[a]fter the pleadings are closed—but early enough not to delay a trial—a party may move for judgment on the pleadings." In deciding a 12(c) motion, the Court applies the same standard applicable to dismissals pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
I. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The FDCPA was enacted in response to a "serious national problem" of debt collection abuse, "including obscene or profane language, threats of violence, telephone calls at unreasonable hours, misrepresentation of a consumer's legal rights, disclosing a consumer's personal affairs to friends, neighbors, or an employer, obtaining information about a consumer through false pretense, impersonating public officials and attorneys, and simulating legal process." S. REP. 95-382, 2, 1977 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1695, 1696. The enacted purpose of the statute was to eliminate such "abusive debt collection practices." 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e). In pursuit of its objective, the statute restricts, inter alia, the use of false or misleading representations and the harassment or abuse of any person in connection with collection of a debt, and broadly prohibits "unfair" and "unconscionable" debt collection practices. See §§ 1692d, 1692e, 1692f.
In analyzing whether a particular communication runs afoul of the FDCPA, courts apply an objective "least sophisticated consumer" standard.
II. Plaintiff's Claims
To recover under the FDCPA, a plaintiff must satisfy three threshold requirements: (1) the plaintiff must be a "consumer," (2) the defendant must be a "debt collector;" and (3) the defendant must have committed some act or omission in violation of the FDCPA.
15 U.S.C. § 1692d(2) (emphasis added). The letter claimed to violate that statute, as reported above, advises, in essence, that Plaintiff's debt is seriously past due, it is important that it be resolved, and it is suggested that she contact the sender by telephone or mail immediately. It goes on to state that it is expected that the debt be paid within 10 days and if it isn't, it will be assumed that she does not intend to resolve it.
It is asserted that the least sophisticated consumer doesn't dispute her indebtedness, doesn't question or feign ignorance of the purpose of the letter, but claims instead to have been demeaned and "extremely upset and disheartened" by being told she hasn't paid what she owes. Compl. ¶ 14. One may understandably ask whether the "least sophisticated consumer" would mark the author of that unbenign letter as being ungracious;
The plain implication of that recitation of grievances is that a creditor is under some obligation, legal or moral, to negotiate the payment of an undisputed overdue debt before asking that it be paid and in asking, do so apologetically. To paraphrase Justice Breyer, the FDCPA was not intended as a "civility code" for debt collectors.
Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant violated 1692d(2) set out above; 1692e(2) which prohibits "the false representation of (A) the character, amount or legal status of any debt; or (B) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt; 1692e(5) which prohibits "[t]he threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken;" 1692e(10) which prohibits "[t]he use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer;" and 1692f which presents a non-exhaustive list of conduct deemed to violate the statute. An examination of all of the proscribed conduct in those subsections convincingly establishes that the collection letter upon which this action is based fits none of them. This Defendant is one of those debt collectors who refrains from using abusive debt collection practices, but who is disadvantaged by "judicially developed standards,"
For the foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings on GRANTED in favor of Defendant on all claims.