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OZKAYA v. TELECHECK SERVS.

October 23, 1997

GULENDER ("ROSE") OZKAYA, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
TELECHECK SERVICES, INC., Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CASTILLO

 Plaintiff Gulender Ozkaya filed this putative class action on May 30, 1997, alleging that defendant Telecheck Services, Inc. violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA" or "the Act"). Ozkaya claims that her right to dispute a car repair debt was overshadowed by language Telecheck used in a dunning letter, and by the fact that Telecheck obscured the date of the letter in a bar code. Ozkaya also claims that Telecheck improperly charged a $ 25.00 service fee because she stopped payment on a check to the creditor. Before the Court is Telecheck's motion to dismiss Ozkaya's complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

 RELEVANT FACTS

 On March 19, 1997, Ozkaya wrote a check in the amount of $ 1041.55 to a car dealership for repair services. Ozkaya stopped payment on the check when she realized that her car had not been properly repaired. Shortly afterward, Ozkaya received a form dunning letter from Telecheck attempting to collect payment:

 
Telecheck has purchased the check referenced in this notice. As a result, we have entered your name in our NATIONAL COMPUTER FILES. Until this is resolved, we may not approve your checks or the opening of a checking account at over 90,000 merchants and banks who use Telecheck nationally.
 
We have assigned your file to our Recovery Department where it will be given to a professional collection agent. Please be aware that we may take reasonable steps to contact you and secure payment of the balance in full.
 
In order for us to update your file quickly, send a cashier's check or money order for the Total Amount Due in the return envelope provided.
 
It is our intent to resolve this as quickly and as amicably as possible for all parties concerned. Any delay, or attempt to avoid this debt, may affect your ability to use checks.

 Compl. Ex. A. Telecheck added a $ 25.00 service charge to the amount of the debt, listed as a "fee" at the top of the letter.

 At the bottom of the letter, the following language appeared: " See reverse for important legal notice and corporate address. " The reverse side contained a standard debt validation notice:

 
This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. Unless you notify Telecheck within thirty (30) days of receipt of this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt, or any portion thereof, Telecheck will assume the debt to be valid.
 
If you notify Telecheck in writing that you dispute the debt, or any portion thereof, listed on this notice within the thirty (30) day period, Telecheck will obtain verification of the debt and will mail you a copy of such verification.

 Id. We must decide whether the contents of this letter give rise to a claim for ...


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