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Billie v. Credit Collection Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 30, 2017

THERESA BILLIE, Plaintiff,
v.
CREDIT COLLECTION SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS.

          Victor A. Bolden United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff, Theresa Billie, brings this action against Defendant, named as Credit Collection Services, Inc. (“Credit Collection”), under 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). ECF No. 1. Defendant Credit Collection has filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 9.

         For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss is GRANTED without prejudice. Plaintiff is directed to file an amended complaint by March 3, 2017.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Ms. Billie is a resident of the State of Connecticut. Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 1. She alleges that Defendant, Credit Collection, is a debt collector under the FDCPA. Id. ¶ 5.

         On a date allegedly “better known to Defendant, ” Credit Collection allegedly began collection activities regarding an alleged consumer debt from Ms. Billie (the “alleged debt”). Compl. ¶ 7. Ms. Billie alleges that the debt at issue “was incurred as a financial obligation that was primarily for personal, family or household purposes and is therefore a ‘debt'” as defined by the FDCPA. Id. ¶ 8.

         Ms. Billie alleges that when a debt collector reports a debt to a credit reporting agency, it is a “communication covered by the FDCPA.” Compl. ¶ 9. She alleges that Credit Collection reported the alleged debt, so that it allegedly appears on her credit report. Id. ¶ 10. On November 27, 2015, Ms. Billie alleges that she disputed the alleged debt directly with Credit Collection, by letter (the “Dispute Letter”). Id. ¶ 11, 13. On January 12, 2016, Ms. Billie alleges that she examined her credit report again to find that Credit Collection had allegedly “re-reported the credit account to the bureau(s) in December 2015.” Id. ¶ 12. Ms. Billie alleges that when Credit Collection re-reported the alleged debt, Credit Collection allegedly “failed to list the account as ‘disputed by customer' despite being required to do so by the FDCPA.” Id. ¶ 13. Ms. Billie further alleges that she has been damaged by this allegedly “deceptive, misleading, and unfair debt collection practice[].” Id. ¶ 14.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is designed “merely to assess the legal feasibility of a complaint, not to assay the weight of evidence which might be offered in support thereof.” Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Color Tile, Inc. v. Coopers & Lybrand, LLP, 322 F.3d 147, 158 (2d Cir. 2003) (internal citations omitted). When deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must accept the material facts alleged in the complaint as true, draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff, and decide whether it is plausible that the plaintiff has a valid claim for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007); In re NYSE Specialists Sec. Litig., 503 F.3d 89, 95 (2d Cir. 2007). While courts “tak[e] as true the factual allegations of the complaint, ” they “giv[e] no effect to legal conclusions couched as factual allegations.” Port Dock & Stone Corp. v. Oldcastle Ne., Inc., 507 F.3d 117, 121 (2d Cir. 2007)

         A plaintiff's “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, ” and assert a cause of action with enough heft to show entitlement to relief and “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570. A claim is facially plausible if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required, a complaint must offer more than “labels and conclusions, ” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” or “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557 (2007). Plausibility at the pleading stage is nonetheless distinct from probability, and “a well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of [the claims] is improbable, and . . . recovery is very remote and unlikely.” Id. at 556 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Ms. Billie brings her claim under the FDCPA. ECF No. 1. Credit Collection now moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. ECF No. 9. Specifically, Credit Collection contends that Ms. Billie's Complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to show that the alleged debt is a debt covered by and subject to suit under the FDCPA. See Def.'s Br. at 3-6, ECF No. 10.

         A. Proper Defendant

         As an initial matter, Defendant also argues that Ms. Billie has failed to “name the . . . parties” as required by Rule 4 because it is not a proper party to this case. Fed R. Civ. P. 4(a)(1)(A); see Def.'s Br. at 6. Credit Collection alleges that Plaintiff named “Credit Collection Services, Inc.”, a “business entity . . . unrelated to the Defendant” that “was voluntarily dissolved on December 7, 2000.” Def.'s Br. at 6. The Defendant that has appeared in this case is Credit Control Services, Inc. (“Credit Control”), d/b/a/ Credit Collection Services. See Def.'s Mot. at 1 n. 1, ECF No. 9. Ms. Billie argues that Defendant is, in fact, operating as “Credit Control Services, Inc.” in the State of Connecticut, as a foreign entity incorporated in the State of Delaware. See Pl.'s Br. at 6, ECF No. 11; see also Pl.'s Br. Ex. A, ECF No. 11-1 (attaching Connecticut business registration for a “Credit Collection ...


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