United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JACQUELYN A. VANDEHEY, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
SEQUIUM ASSET SOLUTIONS, LLC and JOHN DOES, Defendants.
DECISION AND ORDER
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge
Jacquelyn A. Vandehey, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, filed this action against Sequium Asset
Solutions, LLC and several John Does (collectively, Sequium),
alleging that Sequium violated the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et
seq. Specifically, Vandehey alleges that a letter she
received from Sequium that sought to collect a debt she owed
failed to state the amount of the debt and the name of the
creditor, in violation of § 1692g, and was false,
deceptive, and misleading, in violation of § 1692e.
Presently before the court is Sequium's motion to dismiss
the complaint for failure to state a claim. For the reasons
below, Sequium's motion will be granted in part and
denied in part.
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); Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state
a claim, the plaintiff must allege “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “While a
plaintiff need not plead ‘detailed factual
allegations' to survive a motion to dismiss, she still
must provide more than mere ‘labels and conclusions or
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action' for her complaint to be considered adequate under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.” Bell v. City of
Chicago, 835 F.3d 736, 738 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). When reviewing a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must “accept as
true all of the well-pleaded facts in the complaint and draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.”
Kubiak v. City of Chicago, 810 F.3d 476, 480-81 (7th
Cir. 2016). “[T]he tenet that a court must accept as
true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is
inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. In the FDCPA context, “a plaintiff fails
to state a claim and dismissal is appropriate as a matter of
law when it is ‘apparent from a reading of the letter
that not even a significant fraction of the population would
be misled by it.'” Zemeckis v. Global Credit
& Collection Corp., 679 F.3d 632, 636 (7th Cir.
2012) (quoting Taylor v. Cavalry Inv., L.L.C., 365
F.3d 572, 574 (7th Cir. 2004)).
OF THE COMPLAINT
alleges that she received a letter dated August 4, 2017 from
Sequium, a debt collector, who sought to collect a debt she
owed to a creditor. The August 4, 2017 letter, which is
attached as an exhibit to the complaint, was the initial
written communication Sequium sent to Vandehey to collect the
Debt. Vandehey's debt is a financial credit card
obligation that arose out of one or more transactions entered
into primarily for personal, family, and household purposes.
The Debt was assigned to Sequium for the purpose of
collection after Vandehey defaulted.
top of the letter is Sequium's name, address, phone
number, and hours of operation. Below this information is a
table labeled “Account Information, ” which lists
the date, reference number, creditor name, account number,
and the total due. The entry for “Creditor Name”
is “BLAZE CREDIT CARD.” ECF No. 1, Ex. A.
Vandehey alleges that Blaze Credit Card is a financial
product, not the name of a creditor, and therefore Sequium
failed to name the creditor to whom the debt is owed. The
“Total Due” is listed as $521.25. Id. A
similar table with the same information appears in the
bottom-right corner of the letter.
body of the letter informs Vandehey of different payment
options. Specifically, the letter states:
would like to make a payment on your account we have three
convenient ways to pay:
• Pay by phone: Please call the number
listed above and speak with a representative.
• Pay by Mail: Please enclose the
bottom portion of this letter with your payment.
• Pay Client Directly: Pay from an old
statement or contact the creditor directly.
Id. Vandehey alleges that the Pay Client Directly
option is confusing and misleading to an unsophisticated
consumer because the letter does not identify the
“Client” or “the creditor” and
because reference to an “old statement” when the
letter already states a “Total ...