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Osborn v. J.R.S.-I., Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois

June 7, 2013

REBECCA OSBORN, Plaintiff,
v.
J.R.S.-I., Inc., Defendant

Page 808

For Rebecca Osborn, Plaintiff: Daniel A. Edelman, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cathleen M. Combs, James O. Latturner, Rupali Rajendra Shah, Tara Leigh Goodwin, Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, Chicago, IL.

For J.R.S.-I., Inc., Defendant: David M Schultz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Corinne Cantwell Heggie, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Chicago, IL; Steven J. Fink, Steven J. Fink and Associates P.C., Chicago, IL.

OPINION

Page 809

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, Chief United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Rebecca Osborn alleges that defendant J.R.S.-I., Inc. violated the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (" FDCPA" ), 15 U.S.C. § § 1692e, 1692e(2), 1692e(10), 1692f, and 1692f(1) (Count I), and also the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (" ICFA" ), 815 ILCS 505/2 (Count II). (Dkt. No. 1 (" Compl." ).) Currently pending before the court is defendant J.R.S.-I.'s motion to dismiss the complaint. (Dkt. No. 18.) For the reasons explained below, J.R.S.-I's motion is denied.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Sometime during 2010 or 2011, plaintiff Rebecca Osborn was the victim of an identity thief who stole her social security number and other personal information. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 11-12.) The identity thief used that information to open and charge purchases to a Best Buy/HSBC credit account in Osborn's name. ( Id. ¶ 12.)

Defendant J.R.S.-I., a debt collection agency, filed suit against Osborn in the Circuit Court of Cook County in August 2012 to collect the outstanding debt on the Best Buy/HSBC credit account. ( Id. ¶ 15.) Osborn believes that prior to filing the lawsuit, J.R.S.-I. had not contacted her regarding the debt. ( Id. ¶ 16.) J.R.S.-I's complaint included the allegedly false statement that Osborn " opened an HSBC Best Buy credit card account . . . and made purchases and charged same to the account but has failed to make monthly payments called for on the account." ( Id. ¶ 15; see also id. ¶ 24.) In addition, J.R.S.-I attached to the complaint an affidavit by Lawrence Spilg, president of J.R.S.-I. ( Id. ¶ 19.) The affidavit included Spilg's allegedly false statement that " upon information provided to him by the transferor of the debt, he is familiar with certain facts surrounding the debt," including that " Plaintiff . . . is the party to whom the defendant, Rebecca Osborn is liable." ( Id. ; see also id. ¶ 24.) In reality, according to the complaint, Spilg only had a list of debts from HSBC including " minimal information." ( Id. ¶ 20.) J.R.S.-I. was thus unaware that Osborn's debt was the result of identity theft, information it easily could have obtained if it had " obtained a complete file" ( Id. ¶ 22) or " contacted plaintiff prior to suing her" ( Id. ¶ 23).

In response to the lawsuit in state court, Osborn hired counsel and paid an appearance fee. ( Id. ¶ 26.) Her counsel appeared, and the lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed by agreement of the parties with prejudice on December 27, 2012. ( Id. ¶ 27.) Osborn now seeks statutory and actual damages for J.R.S-I.'s actions, which she alleges violate the FDCPA and the ICFA.

LEGAL STANDARD

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint need contain only " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint ...


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