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Draper v. Complete Payment Recovery Services, Inc.

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

October 8, 2014

DECARTO DRAPER, Plaintiff,
v.
COMPLETE PAYMENT RECOVERY SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MANISH S. SHAH, District Judge.

Complete Payment Recovery Services, Inc. ("CPRS") was hired to collect a debt that Decarto Draper owed to a third party. Seeking to collect, CPRS sent letters to Draper. Draper sued, alleging that CPRS's letters threatened to take an action that CPRS never truly intended to take, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Specifically, Draper argues that CPRS threatened to report his debt to national credit bureaus, but neither CPRS nor the third-party creditor ever intended to report the debt. CPRS moves for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, that motion is denied.

I. Legal Standards

Summary judgment is appropriate if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Spurling v. C & M Fine Pack, Inc., 739 F.3d 1055, 1060 (7th Cir. 2014). A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must construe all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See CTL ex rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland Sch. Dist., 743 F.3d 524, 528 (7th Cir. 2014).

II. Facts[1]

Certegy Check Services, Inc. provides check warranty services. DSOF ¶ 1. Draper owed a debt to Certegy based on a check he issued that bounced. DSOF ¶ 2. Certegy hired CPRS to recover that debt. DSOF ¶ 4. CPRS sent Draper a letter, dated May 20, 2013, stating in pertinent part:

Your unpaid check has been referred to Complete Payment Recovery Services, Inc. ("CPRS") for collection.... Certegy Check Services, Inc. is the owner of your check and is our client. We are proceeding with more extensive collection efforts because of your repeated failure to resolve this matter.... Our client may also report your unpaid check to national credit bureaus Equifax and Innovis, which would list the check as a negative item in your personal credit file. To avoid this, you will need to send us payment for the Total Amount Due below of $525.37.

DSOF ¶ 4[2]; [1-2] at 1.

Having received no payment, CPRS sent a second letter, dated June 17, 2013, stating in pertinent part:

We may recommend to our client that your unpaid check be assigned to a law firm for collection because we have not received payment in full. Your unpaid check is eligible for reporting as a bad debt charge off to both Equifax and Innovis credit reporting agencies. If this debt remains unpaid and is reported to the credit reporting agencies, it may have a negative effect on your future ability to write checks or obtain credit. To avoid this negative reference in your credit file, you must contact us immediately to make arrangements to pay the Total Amount Due of $525.37.

[1-2] at 2.

Again having received no payment, CPRS sent a third letter, dated July 1, 2013, stating in pertinent part:

You have demonstrated no intention of paying your check.... As a result, we will inform our client that your check most likely will have to be assigned to another collection agency in order to seek payment.... Your unpaid check information may now be reported to a national credit bureau to be included in your personal credit file ...

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