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Liang v. Frontline Asset Strategies, LLC

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

December 22, 2016

WEI LIANG, on behalf of plaintiff and a class, Plaintiff,
v.
FRONTLINE ASSET STRATEGIES, LLC, LVNV FUNDING, LLC, RESURGENT CAPITAL SERVICES, L.P., and ALEGIS GROUP, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John Z. Lee United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Wei Liang filed suit against Frontline Asset Strategies, LLC, LVNV Funding, LLC, Resurgent Capital Services, L.P., and Alegis Group, LLC alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, 1692a-1692p. Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss [35]. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

         Factual Background

         In 2005, North Star Capital Acquisition, LLC brought an action against plaintiff Wei Liang for a debt originating from a credit card. See 2d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 26-27, ECF No. 32. On December 29, 2005, a default judgment was entered against Liang. See Id. ¶ 26; id., App. A.

         Now, after a series of transactions, defendant LVNV Funding, LLC is the purported owner of the debt. See Id. ¶¶ 35-36. Defendant Alegis Group, LLC is the sole partner of defendant Resurgent Capital Services, L.P., which is responsible for managing LVNV's debt portfolio. See Id. ¶¶ 16-19, 23. Defendant Frontline Asset Strategies, LLC (“FAS”) is a debt collection agency retained by LVNV. See Id. ¶¶ 6- 8, 37-40. It should be noted that the file for the case resulting in the default judgment does not show LVNV as the assignee of record. See Id. ¶ 34.

         On July 8, 2015, FAS sent a collection letter to Liang identifying LVNV as the creditor to whom the debt is owed and stating:

A judgment was entered against you on 12/29/2005. Your unpaid judgment has been turned over to us for collection with a total amount due of $10, 539.18 as of the date of this letter.
. . . .
. . . . Nothing contained in this letter changes or alters your consumer rights.

See Id. ¶¶ 37-39.

         Plaintiff's primary objections to the letter are that (1) it did not disclose that the judgment in question was a dormant judgment under Illinois law and (2) the defendants were not the judgment creditors. Defendants now seek to dismiss the lawsuit pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(b)(6).

         Legal Standard

         A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. Christensen v. Cty. of Boone, Ill., 483 F.3d 454, 457 (7th Cir. 2007). Under the federal notice pleading standards, “a plaintiff's complaint need only provide a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice of the claim and its basis.” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). When considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must “accept . . . as true all well-pleaded facts alleged, and draw[ ] all possible inferences in [the plaintiff's] favor.” Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1081.

         A complaint, however, must also allege “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). For a claim to have facial plausibility, a plaintiff must plead “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. Plausibility, however, “does not ...


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