United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Judy Dahl allegedly notified her original creditors
that she disputed alleged debts, refused to pay them, and
demanded they cease contacting her about them, she received
two letters from the Kohn Law Firm S.C. concerning some of
those same debts. Dahl filed suit, claiming that defendant
Kohn Law violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15
U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”).
Defendant now seeks to dismiss Dahl's complaint, arguing:
(1) to trigger the cease-communications protection of §
1692c(c), Dahl needed to contact Kohn Law directly in
writing, as knowledge of similar requests to original
creditors is insufficient; (2) the letters were not
actionable “communications” under the FDCPA
because they were informational rather than demands for
payment; and (3) even if the letters were
“communications, ” they were permissible under
§ 1692c(c)'s exceptions because they notified Dahl
of a remedy Kohn intended to invoke. (Dkt. #9.) Given that
the plain text of § 1692(c), the court agrees with at
least the first and third arguments, either of which are
sufficient to dismiss plaintiff's complaint. Accordingly,
the court need not reach the second argument.
February 27, 2017, Dahl wrote to TD Bank USA and Discover
Financial Services, LLC:
Don't call me anymore at any number. Don't send me
any letters. Don't email me. You or your company may not
communicate with me at all. Stop all communication with me
now for the account noted above. If you had my permission to
call or write me, you don't anymore. Stop Buggin me.
I don't owe you nothin' -- especially for the account
If you are taking money from my bank account or credit card,
that must stop now to[o].
(Cease & Desist Letters (dkt. #1-2) 1, 6; Compl. (dkt.
#1) ¶ 6.)
September 2017, Kohn Law nevertheless sent Dahl two letters.
The second letter provided in relevant part:
This is to notify you that this firm was retained to
represent Discover Bank to collect its claim against you for
the balance owing on your Discover Card account. Discover has
advised us that you have requested no further communications
regarding this matter. However, federal law requires that we
provide you with the following notices:
* * *
NOTICE: This letter communication is from a debt collector.
We are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained
will be used for that purpose. Under the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, unless you dispute the validity of this debt,
or any portion thereof, within thirty days of receiving this
notice, we will assume that this debt is valid. If you notify
us in writing within the thirty-day period that this debt, or
any portion thereof, is disputed, we will obtain verification
of the debt or a copy of the judgment (if any), and a copy of
such verification or judgment will be mailed to you. Upon
your written request within the thirty-day period, we will
provide you with the name and address of the original
creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(Sept. 19, 2017 Letter (dkt. #1-3) 2.) The first letter
concerning a Target credit card is substantially the same,
but begins with the sentence “We are writing to notify
you that we have been retained by the creditor named above
involving your client's Target credit card
account.” (Sept. 11, 2017 Letter (dkt. #1-3) 1.)
alleges that receipt of these two letters made her
“believe that her attempt to exercise her rights under
the FDCPA had been futile, and that she did not have the
rights Congress had ...