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CORTRIGHT v. THOMPSON

April 1, 1992

Robert F. Cortright and Janie Cortright, Plaintiffs,
v.
James C. Thompson, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PHILIP G. REINHARD

 Introduction

 Plaintiffs, Robert F. Cortright and Janie Cortright, filed a complaint against defendant, James C. Thompson, alleging that defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Act), 15 U.S.C. ยง 1692 et seq. The complaint alleges that a letter sent by defendant violated the Act by stating differing views of the validity of the debt; namely stating that the debt was due immediately and should be paid within 10 days but later stating that after 30 days the debt would be considered valid. This claim also alleges that the letter misrepresented the "imminence of legal action" and the "existence of 'mandatory court' attendance." The complaint also alleges an alternative theory that the letter was a form letter which was used to create a false belief that a person other than the creditor, in this case defendant, was participating in the collection of the debt when the person in fact was not participating. Defendant has moved for summary judgment *fn1" and sanctions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (F.R.C.P.) 11. Plaintiffs have filed a cross-motion for partial summary judgment as to liability.

 Facts

 On April 2, 1991, defendant, a licensed attorney in Illinois, sent plaintiffs a letter notifying them that their account at Rockford Clinic in the amount of $ 1152.27 was "long past due." Defendant represents Rockford Mercantile Agency (RMA). The letter was written on defendant's firm's letterhead and stated the following:

 
CREDITOR -- ROCKFORD CLINIC
 
AMOUNT DUE 1,152.27
 
REF -- 192236
 
300587
 
CORTRIGHT, JANIE/CHRISTIN,
 
CORTRIGHT ROBERT,
 
5608 BELLVILLE DR,
 
ROCKFORD IL 61108
 
IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH THE CREDITOR NAMED ABOVE IS LONG PAST DUE. THEREFORE, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE BALANCE DUE IS PAID IMMEDIATELY, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THAT SATISFACTORY PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS BE MADE THROUGH MY CLIENT, ROCKFORD MERCANTILE AGENCY. PLEASE CONTACT MY CLIENT AT ...

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