United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
RASHAD W. WALSTON, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
NATIONWIDE CREDIT, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Walston brought this suit against Nationwide Credit, Inc.,
alleging that a collection letter it sent him violated the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15
U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., and the Credit Repair
Organizations Act (“CROA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1679
et seq. Doc. 1. After Nationwide moved to dismiss
under Civil Rule 12(b)(6), Doc. 16, Walston obtained leave to
amend and filed an amended complaint, Docs. 18, 21-22.
Nationwide again moves to dismiss. Doc. 27. The motion is
granted, and the suit is dismissed with prejudice.
resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court assumes the truth
of the operative complaint's well-pleaded factual
allegations, but not its legal conclusions. See Zahn v.
N. Am. Power & Gas, LLC, 815 F.3d 1082, 1087 (7th
Cir. 2016). The court must also consider “documents
attached to the complaint, documents that are critical to the
complaint and referred to in it, and information that is
subject to proper judicial notice, ” along with
additional facts set forth in Walston's brief opposing
dismissal, so long as those additional facts “are
consistent with the pleadings.” Phillips v.
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 714 F.3d 1017, 1019-20 (7th
Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks omitted). The facts are
set forth as favorably to Walston as those materials permit.
See Domanus v. Locke Lord, LLP, 847 F.3d 469, 478-79
(7th Cir. 2017). In setting forth the facts at this stage,
the court does not vouch for their accuracy. See Goldberg
v. United States, 881 F.3d 529, 531 (7th Cir. 2018).
incurred a debt with American Express for “past due
payments on [his] American Express Blue Cash Everyday
personal credit card.” Doc. 22 at ¶ 14.
Nationwide, a debt collection agency, sent Walston a letter
attempting to collect the debt and stating that American
Express had authorized it to offer him the “opportunity
to regain Card Membership.” Id. at
¶¶ 8, 16-17; Doc. 22-1 at 2. Specifically, the
letter said that if Walston paid his balance, he would be
sent an application for an American Express Optima Card, Doc.
22 at ¶ 18; Doc 22-1 at 2, which is a card issued to
“subprime borrowers” and “designed to
provide those with negative credit history the opportunity to
reestablish creditworthiness, ” Doc. 22 at ¶ 20.
Your application [for an American Express Optima Card]
will be approved by American Express
• You have an active bankruptcy at the time of your
• You have accepted another offer for an Optima Card
account from a different agency or from American Express.
• You have an active American Express account.
• American Express determines that you do not have
the financial capacity to make the minimum payment on this
new Optima Card account.
Doc. 22-1 at 2 (emphasis added). Given the final proviso,
Walston “could pay the subject debt in full, submit his
application for the Optima Card, only to ultimately not
receive the promised benefits that induced [him] to pay the
subject debt based on a determination solely within the
discretion of American Express” that he did not have
the financial ability to make the minimum payment on the
Optima Card. Doc. 22 at ¶ 24.