United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Medicredit,
Inc.'s Motions to Dismiss. (Docs. 6, 9.) In light of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the Court will deny
Defendant's first Motion to Dismiss (which was directed
at Plaintiff's now-superseded initial complaint) as moot.
Before the Court now is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and the exhibits attached
thereto. Plaintiff Kathleen Hennessey has filed a memorandum
in opposition. (Doc. 11.)
August 16, 2017, Defendant sent a letter to Plaintiff
asserting that she owed $622.66 in unpaid medical bills.
(Doc. 8-1.) Plaintiff retained counsel, who wrote to
Defendant on October 16, 2017, to notify it that Plaintiff
was represented and that all future correspondence should be
directed to counsel. (Doc. 8-2.) Counsel also disputed the
validity of the debt and demanded that Defendant
“provide a copy of all verification documents so that
[counsel] may further assess [the] claimed amount due.”
response to counsel's October 16 communication, Defendant
wrote to Plaintiff a letter that reads, in its entirety, as
We have received your dispute in regards to your account with
St. Marys [sic] Hospital - St. Louis and are currently
investigating the matter. There is no additional information
or action needed from you at this time. If it is determined
that additional information is needed, someone will contact
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter,
please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-888-2238. We
are ready to assist you from 8:00am to 9:00pm CT Monday to
Thursday, 8:00am to 7:00pm CT Friday and 8:00am to 1:00pm CT
Thank you for your patience while St. Marys [sic] Hospital -
St. Louis reviews your account.
(Doc. 8-4.) Believing that this second letter violated the
Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15
U.S.C. § 1692c-g, because it was sent directly to
Plaintiff and because it failed to respond to counsel's
demand to verify the debt, Plaintiff filed suit. (Docs. 1,
8.) Defendant now moves to dismiss the suit, arguing that the
letter was not a collections communication and that the
verification demand was untimely. (Docs. 9, 10.)
survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 768 (2009) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
testing whether a communication violates the FCPA, the
communication “must be viewed through the eyes of an
unsophisticated consumer.” Peters v. Gen. Serv.
Bureau, Inc., 277 F.3d 1051, 1055 (8th Cir. 2002)
(citing Duffy v. Landberg, 215 F.3d 871, 873 (8th
Cir. 2000)); see also Curtis v. Fin. Recovery Servs..,
Inc., No. 4:15CV1018 HEA, 2016 WL 1161598, at *3 (E.D.
Mo. Mar. 23, 2016) (applying Peters's
“unsophisticated consumer” test to alleged
violations of § 1692c). The “unsophisticated
consumer” test is “designed to protect consumers
of below average sophistication or intelligence” as
well as to maintain an “objective element of
reasonableness.” Id. (citing Gammon v. GC
Servs. Ltd. P'ship, 27 F.3d 1254, 1257 (7th Cir.
FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in
“abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection
practices” when they interact with consumers. 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692(a). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated the
FDCPA by “[e]ngaging in deceptive and unfair tactics in
an effort to collect the debt” in violation of 15
U.S.C. § 1692c-f-specifically by communicating with
Plaintiff after learning that she was represented by an
attorney-and by “[f]ailing to verify the debt ...