PHILADELPHIA — A bill collector’s move for summary judgment in a class action lawsuit was granted on July 27 in connection with four of the five claims asserted by a plaintiff who alleged that the business had violated several provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
In September 2017, Michelle Vullings alleges, the Arcadia Recovery Bureau violated the FDCPA when it sent her a letter that sought to collect a debt owed by her deceased mother’s estate, of which Vullings was the administrator.
The U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania granted a motion to dismiss four of the claims brought against Arcardia.
In connection with the one surviving claim, Vullings had argued that a letter sent to her by the defendant was "misleading." According to the opinion, “a debt collector may not use any false, deceptive or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” This section of the FDCPA, the court said does not “limit recovery to consumers.”
Arcadia Director of Operations, Bad Debt Collections Pamela Hoffert Arcadia
The decision, which was written by Judge Edward Smith, said two of the claims failed because “in her individual capacity,” Vullings was found to not be the “consumer” of the loan on which the defendant was looking to collect payment and “therefore lacks standing to sue."
Two other violations alleged by Vullings, according to the ruling, failed because “the undisputed facts do not, as a matter of law, support a claim for relief under the FDCPA.”
These claims were related to the allegedly “oppressive and outrageous conduct” of the bill collector. The court found that the actions of the defendant could not be considered either oppressive or outrageous.