United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHNSON COLEMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Marlene Sparrow Oloko (“Oloko”) filed this
lawsuit alleging a violation of the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.
(“FDCPA”). Oloko specifically asserts that
Defendant Receivable Recovery Services, LLC
(“RRS”) violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692g by
sending two collection letters during the validation
period-the second of which overshadowed the validation notice
in the initial letter. The parties filed cross-motions for
summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(a). For the reasons explained below, the Court grants
RRS's motion and denies Oloko's motion.
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted. Oloko
incurred a financial obligation originally owed to Our Lady
of the Lake Medical Center for medical expenses, which was
placed with RRS for collection. RRS sent Oloko an initial
collection letter dated May 8, 2017, and the parties agree
that this initial letter complied with 15 U.S.C. § 1692g
because it contained a validation notice as required under
§ 1692g(a). The initial letter also informed Oloko that
her account may be reported to the credit bureaus within 45
days from when RRS received the account from Oloko's
creditor. Oloko does not base her FDCPA claim on this initial
the 30-day validation period, RRS sent a second collection
letter on June 7, 2017, which was entitled TAX SETTLEMENT and
referenced federal tax refunds. At the top of the letter, the
amount owed was indicated as: BALANCE: $250.00. The body of
this dunning letter stated:
As you may know, special tax refunds are being issued by the
Federal government to qualified taxpayers beginning this
Your obligation listed above is seriously past due. We
recognized that sometimes well-intentioned individuals may
get behind on payment due to lack of funds. This tax refund
is an opportune time to settle your obligation by applying
the refund to your delinquent balance. Please call us
immediately to make arrangements for payment which will cease
further collection efforts on your account.
Please note that your account may have been reported to a
credit reporting agency as unpaid collection. Assuming that
you value your credit record, you should pay this outstanding
bill immediately to improve your credit file.
If your refund amount is not sufficient to cover your
outstanding obligation or you are not due a tax refund, call
us immediately to work out a solution before further steps
Payment should be made directly to our office. Unfortunately,
if you do not make payment in full or acceptable arrangements
within the next thirty 30) days, we will assume you do not
wish to pay on your obligation and further steps may be
required to obtain payment. Thank you for your immediate
attention to this matter.
***This is a communication from a debt collector and
is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained
will be used for that purpose.***
following tear-off remittance slip was at the bottom of the
1-1, Ex. C, ...