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Muharemovic v. Client Services, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

December 11, 2017

NISVET MUHAREMOVIC, Plaintiff,
v.
CLIENT SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Nisvet Muharemovic received two letters from defendant Client Services, Inc., informing him that it was attempting to collect a debt owed by him to Capital One Bank. Muharemovic claims that the letters failed to accurately state the amount of debt, made false and deceptive representations, and included threats of litigation, all in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. While the factual allegations of Muharemovic's amended complaint are sufficient to state a claim that Client Services falsely represented the amount of debt and made other deceptive representations, they fail to state a claim that Client Services threatened legal or other action it did not intend to take. Nor are the complaint's allegations sufficient to state a claim that Client Services' conduct served to harass, oppress, or abuse Muharemovic. I will therefore grant in part and deny in part Client Services' motion to dismiss.

         Background[1]

         In a letter dated December 5, 2016, Client Services informed Muharemovic that it was attempting to collect a debt owed by him to Capital One in the amount of $1102.26. Muharemovic believed that he did not owe the stated amount because it exceeded his credit limit with Capital One. The letter advised Muharemovic:

If we are unable to arrange repayment, Capital One will send your account to an attorney in your state for possible legal action. Please note, no decision has been made to take legal action against you at this time. If a lawsuit is filed, you'll have the opportunity at any court hearing to raise applicable defenses or property exemptions. I want to help you avoid any possible legal action. Please call . . . for more information.

(ECF #9-1, First Amd. Compl., Exh. 1.) In his amended complaint, Muharemovic claims that this letter failed to accurately state the amount of his debt, improperly threatened legal action, falsely represented his legal options, and made representations regarding Capital One without authority.

         Client Services sent a second letter to Muharemovic, dated February 6, 2017, again stating the balance due to be $1102.26, but offering to settle the account for $835. The letter further advised: “Settling your account will prevent it from being reviewed by a law firm for potential legal action. Please note, no decision has been made to sue you.” (ECF #9-2, First Amd. Compl., Exh. 2.) Muharemovic claims that this letter misrepresented the amount of debt and improperly threatened legal action, with such threatened action constituting unlawful harassment. Muharemovic also claims that Client Services again acted without authority by falsely representing the action it could take on the account.

         Muharemovic claims that with these letters, Client Services violated the FDCPA by:

1) engaging in conduct, the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, or abuse plaintiff, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692d;
2) deceptively failing to accurately state the amount of the debt, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e, 1692g;
3) using false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means in connection with the debt collection, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e, e(10);
4) communicating a false impression, amount, and legal status of the debt, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2)(A); and
5) communicating a threat that is not intended to be taken, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5).

         Client Services moves to dismiss the amended complaint in its entirety under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that the complaint's factual allegations ...


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