United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
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.
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.
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.
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 ...