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Duarte v. Client Services, Inc.

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

September 20, 2019

BRENDA DUARTE, Plaintiff,
v.
CLIENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JORGE ALONSO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Brenda Duarte brings this suit under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., against defendant Client Services, Inc. (“CSI”). Before the Court are the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, defendant’s motion is granted, and plaintiff’s motion is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Local Rule 56.1 outlines the requirements for the introduction of facts parties would like considered in connection with a motion for summary judgment. Its purpose “is to make the summary judgment process less burdensome on district courts, by requiring the parties to nail down the relevant facts and the way they propose to support them.” Sojka v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., 686 F.3d 394, 397 (7th Cir. 2012). Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide “a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue.” Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). Each paragraph of the statement must contain specific references to supporting materials in the record that are relied upon to support the facts set forth in that paragraph. N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(a). “For litigants appearing in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement is a critical, and required, component of a litigant’s response to a motion for summary judgment.” Sojka, 686 F.3d at 398. District courts may rigorously enforce compliance with Rule 56.1. See, e.g., Stevo v. Frasor, 662 F.3d 880, 886-87 (7th Cir. 2011) (“Because of the high volume of summary judgment motions and the benefits of clear presentation of relevant evidence and law, we have repeatedly held that district judges are entitled to insist on strict compliance with local rules designed to promote the clarity of summary judgment filings”).

         CSI filed a statement of material facts in support of its motion for summary judgment, and plaintiff filed a response to CSI’s statement. These facts are deemed admitted to the extent they are not controverted by plaintiff and are supported by the record. See N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C). Plaintiff submitted additional facts supporting her cross-motion for summary judgment. CSI did not respond to these facts. These facts are deemed admitted to the extent they are supported by the record. Id. The Court will not consider any facts that contain legal arguments, conclusions, or speculation.

         Plaintiff Brenda Duarte obtained a Capital One Bank consumer credit card, which she used for personal purposes. Defendant CSI is a collection agency. In 2017, plaintiff was no longer able to pay her account, and CSI was hired to collect the debt on behalf of Capital One. On November 27, 2017, CSI sent plaintiff a letter that contained the following information:

CURRENT CREDITOR: CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A. ACCOUNT NUMBER: XXXXXXXXXXXX9910 BALANCE DUE: $415.35 REFERENCE NUMBER: 25009112

         Dear Valued Customer:

Our client, CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A., has placed the above account with our organization for collections.
Balance Due At Charge-Off:
$415.35
Interest:
$0.00
Other Charges:
$0.00
Payments Made:
$0.00
Current Balance:
$415.35
Unless you notify our office within thirty (30) days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within thirty (30) days from receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request of this office in writing within thirty (30) days after receiving this notice, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

(Dkt. 64 ¶¶ 6-7.) Plaintiff says that the listing of the other categories confused her and made her believe that interest and other charges could accrue.

         Along with the November 27, 2017 letter, CSI sent plaintiff an Account Resolution Offer, which stated:

         NEW INFORMATION ...


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