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Cobb v. Enhanced Recovery Co., LLC

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

March 11, 2019

DEBORA COBB, Plaintiff,
v.
ENHANCED RECOVERY COMPANY, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DKT. 29]

          HON. VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Background

         Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant, Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC (“Defendant”) [Dkt. No. 29], seeking a judgment that it did not misrepresent its identity in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as alleged by Deborah Cobb (“Plaintiff”). For the reasons set forth below, summary judgment is entered for Defendant.

         The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.

         Plaintiff Deborah Cobb is a citizen of Connecticut. [Dkt. 10 (Amended Complaint), ¶ 3]. Plaintiff used a personal Target credit card for shopping and household goods. [Id. at ¶ 4]. That Target credit card account was the subject of debt collection efforts. [Id.]

         Defendant Enhanced Recovery Company (“Enhanced”) is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the state of Delaware. [Dkt. 35-1 (Plaintiff's Local Rule 56(a) Statement), ¶ 1]. Enhanced is currently licensed to act as a consumer collection agency within the state of Connecticut by the Connecticut Banking Department. [Id. at ¶ 9].

         On July 21, 2017, Enhanced sent a letter to Plaintiff which stated the following:

DEBORAH COBB
Our records indicate that your balance with TD Bank USA, N.A./ Target Credit Card remains unpaid; therefore your account has been placed with ERC for collection efforts.
Upon receipt and clearance of $1, 267.50, your account will be closed and collection efforts will cease.
Unless you dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, within thirty (30) days after your receipt of this notice, the debt will be assumed to be valid by us.

[Dkt. 10 (Amended Complaint), at 5]. The top left corner of the front page of the letter bears a logo comprising the initials “ERC.” [Id.] The top right corner of the front page identifies the “Creditor” as “TD Bank USA, N.A./ Target Credit Card.” [Id.] The letter includes the language “[t]his is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose.” [Id.] The letter states “view statements, pay your balance, and manage your account online at payerc.com.” [Id. (obscured); Dkt. 35-1, ¶ 26]. The letter also lists a toll-free phone number and invites the debtor to “[s]end correspondence to ERC, P. O. Box 57610, Jacksonville, FL 32241.” [Id.] The reverse of the letter states “Our Corporate Address is: ERC 8014 Bayberry Road Jacksonville, FL 32256.” [Dkt. 35-1, ¶ 29].

         On August 1, 2017, Ms. Cobb called ERC. [Dkt. 35-1, ¶ 30]. An automated message played, which stated “thank you for calling ERC.” [Id.]. When ERC's representative answered the phone, he said, in part: “Good morning. Thank you for calling ERC. My name is Irving Anderson speaking with you on a recorded line.” [Id. at ¶ 31].

         Enhanced is licensed with the Connecticut Banking Department to operate as a consumer collection agency in the state of Connecticut. [Dkt. 35-1, ¶ 9]. Since August 2015, Enhanced has been licensed to act as a consumer collection agency within Connecticut under the trade name ERC, as indicated by the National Multistate Licensing Service. [Dkt. 35-1, ¶; Davis Decl. at ¶ 6; Landoll Decl. at ...


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