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Betz v. MRS BPO LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

April 26, 2017

ROBIN BETZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
MRS BPO, LLC, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, Robin Betz, brings this action against MRS BPO LLC (‘MRS”) under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Before me now is MRS's motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

         According to the allegations of the complaint, which I accept as true for purposes of this motion, the plaintiff is a “consumer” and MRS is a “debt collector” within the meaning of the FDCPA. On May 26, 2016, MRS mailed a debt-collection letter to the plaintiff regarding a debt allegedly owed to Verizon Wireless. The letter, which is attached to the complaint, states in relevant part as follows:

Dear ROBIN BETZ,
The above referenced creditor has placed your account with our office for collection. We recognize that sometimes circumstances or events can make it difficult to satisfy your financial obligations.
Resolving a long overdue debt is never easy. Often the hardest part is taking the first step. We are ready to assist you to find a solution that is both fair and reasonable. You are eligible for a discount offer. We are not obligated to renew this offer.
Simply pay 2 monthly payment(s) totaling $858.14. Your first payment of $429.07 is due by 07/10/2016. Subsequent payment(s) are due by the 10th of the month until the offer is paid in full.
We have several payment options available . . . .
IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION
Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office in writing within 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 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.
Sincerely,
MRS BPO, L.L.C.

         Compl. Ex. A. Because the total amount of the debt as described in the letter was $1, 144.06, MRS's “discount offer, ” which offered to settle the account for $858.14, represented a 25% discount off the total amount owed.

         In the letter, the notice that appears below the heading “Important Consumer Information” is something that the FDCPA requires debt collectors to send to consumers within five days after it first makes contact with him or her. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a). The information that this initial notice must contain includes, among other things, a statement that unless the debtor “disputes the validity of the debt” within 30 days the debt collector will assume that the debt is valid. If the consumer requests validation within 30 days of receiving the letter, the debt collector must “cease collection of the debt . . . until the [requested information] is mailed to the consumer.” Id. ยง 1692g(b). However, unless and until the consumer requests validation (or other information the debt collector must provide), the debt collector may, within the 30-day ...


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