The opinion of the court was delivered by: CASTILLO
Plaintiff Juan Vasquez brought this putative class action in federal court claiming that the defendant law firm of Gertler & Gertler, LTD. ("Gertler") and its lawyers, Steven D. Gertler, Amy L. Gertler, and Kevin F. Plachta, violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e
and § 1692g
His claims under both sections rest on allegations that the defendants sent Vasquez a debt collection letter containing language that contradicts and overshadows his FDCPA rights to dispute the validity of the debt.
The defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), contending that Vasquez cannot state a FDCPA claim under any set of facts consistent with the complaint. This Court converted Vasquez's response to the defendants' motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment after the Seventh Circuit decided Bartlett v. Heibl, 128 F.3d 497, 1997 WL 616675 (7th Cir. 1997), which made clear that courts can decide the overshadowing issue as a matter of law based on the collection letter's language. After careful consideration, we grant the defendants' motion to dismiss with prejudice, and deny plaintiff's converted motion for summary judgment.
On May 30, 1992, Mr. Vasquez purchased a 1988 Toyota Camry from Schaumburg Toyota through a retail installment contract. (Compl. PP 7, 8.) Vasquez's purchase was financed by First Bank, FSB ("First Bank"). (Id. P 9.) Vasquez allegedly defaulted on his car payments. (Id. P 10.) At this point, First Bank retained the Gertler law firm to collect the $ 1,221.03 allegedly owed. (Id. P 11.) In an attempt to collect this debt, Gertler sent Vasquez a collection letter, which forms the basis of Vasquez's claims. (Id. P 12, 26.) Because the letter disposes of this lawsuit, the Court reproduces its entire text:
RE: Juan M. Vasquez account with
Please be advised that I have been retained by First Bank, FSB to collect a debt from you in the amount of $ 1,521.03.
Kindly let me have your immediate attention and cooperation by sending me your payment or contacting me without further delay.