Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chatman v. Alltran Education, Inc.

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

February 7, 2018

JASMINE CHATMAN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLTRAN EDUCATION, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          AMY J. ST. EVE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jasmine Chatman (“Plaintiff” or “Chatman”) brings this purported class action against Defendant Alltran Education, Inc. (“Defendant” or “Alltran”) alleging one count, a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (R. 7.) Plaintiff claims that Defendant failed to properly inform her of the amount of debt owed in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(1). (Id. at 6.) Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. (R. 13.) For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendant's motion to dismiss.

         BACKGROUND

         According to the First Amended Complaint, [1] Plaintiff Chatman is a resident of the state of Illinois. (R. 7 at ¶ 6.) Chatman incurred a debt in the form of a consumer student loan from Illinois State University. (R. 7 at ¶ 11; R. 8 at 7 (“Debt Letter”); R. 20 at 1.) She became delinquent on her loan payments, her debt went into default, and Alltran was subsequently assigned the debt for collection. (R. 7 at ¶ 12-13.) Defendant Alltran is an Illinois corporation that holds a collection agency license from the state of Illinois and conducts business in Illinois as a debt collector. (R. 7 at ¶ 7-10.)

         Alltran sent a letter to Chatman regarding her debt (the “Debt Letter”), dated December 19, 2016. (Id. at ¶ 14; Debt Letter.) The top right corner of the letter includes Alltran's contact information and the details related to Plaintiff's debt:

Alltran Education Acct #:

[REDACTED]

Principle:

[sic] $2250.00

Interest:

$136.76

Collection Cost:

$640.79

Fees & Other Non-Collection Charges:

$24.00

Total Current Balance:

$3051.55

(Debt Letter.) Twice the Debt Letter states that the “Amt Owed” or the “Amount Owed” is $3051.55. (Id.) The Debt Letter again provides Alltran's contact information, including the address and telephone number, in the body of the letter, in the signature block, and on the lower letterhead. (Id.) The bottom of the letter also reads: “The total balance due reflected above is correct as of the date of this letter. Until paid in full, interest may continue to accrue on your account. Please refer to the original loan documents for interest rate and accrual information.” (Id.) The Debt Letter constitutes Alltran's initial communication with Chatman. (R. 7 at ¶ 16-17.)

         Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint alleges one count, a violation of the FDCPA. (R. 7 at 6.) Chatman claims that the Debt Letter failed to properly inform her of the amount of debt owed in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(1). (Id.) Plaintiff seeks statutory damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(2) as well as costs and attorney's fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3). (Id.) Before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Chatman's complaint. (R. 13.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the viability of a complaint by arguing that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” Camasta v. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732, 736 (7th Cir. 2014) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)); see also Hill v. Serv. Emp. Int'l Union, 850 F.3d 861, 863 (7th Cir. 2017). Under Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The short and plain statement must “give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). A plaintiff's “factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Ibid. Put differently, a “complaint must contain 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) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

         When determining the sufficiency of a complaint under the plausibility standard, courts must “accept all well-pleaded facts as true and draw reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs' favor.” Roberts v. City of Chicago, 817 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2016); Mann v. Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013). “[D]ocuments attached to a motion to dismiss are considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and are central to his claim” and “may be considered by the district court in ruling on the motion to dismiss…without converting [it] to a motion for summary judgment.” Wright v. Associated Ins. Cos. Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1248 (7th Cir. 1994).

         ANALYSIS

         Chatman alleges that Alltran's Debt Letter violates § 1692g(a)(1) of the FDCPA. Section 1692g(a)(1) provides that a debt collector must provide a consumer “a written notice containing…the amount of the debt” either in its “initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt” or “[w]ithin five days after the initial communication.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a). Specifically, Chatman asserts that the Debt Letter violates the FDCPA because it fails to properly inform her of the amount of debt owed as follows: 1) “Alltran failed to properly inform Plaintiff of how to determine the balance of the alleged debt” (R. 7 at ¶ 20.); 2) “Alltran failed to notify Plaintiff that if she pays the amount shown in the [Debt] Letter, an adjustment may be necessary after her check is received” (Id. at ¶ 22.); and 3) “Alltran failed to notify Plaintiff that it would inform her before depositing a payment in the event the balance adjusted” (Id. at ¶ 23.). Plaintiff attempts to create these claims from the absence of safe harbor language established by the Seventh Circuit in Miller v. McCalla, Raymer, Padrick, Cobb, Nichols, & Clark, L.L.C., 214 F.3d 872 (7th Cir. 2000). (Id. at ¶ 21; R. 20 at 2, 4-5.) She further relies on Ingram v. Corp. Receivables, Inc., 2003 WL 21018650 (N.D. Ill. May 5, 2003), to support her additional required disclosures. (R. 20 at 5.)

         Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint because Chatman fails to state an FDCPA claim upon which relief may be granted. (R. 13.) Alltran argues that it used language approved by the Seventh Circuit in Taylor v. Cavalry Investment, L.L.C., 365 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2004), and that the FDCPA does not require the additional disclosures Plaintiff describes. (Id. at 2-3; R. 22 at 2-7.) Defendant further explains that the collection letter only needs to state the total amount due as of the date of the letter ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.