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Johnson v. Admiral Investments, LLC

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 2, 2017

Brianna Johnson, Plaintiff,
v.
Admiral Investments, LLC, Defendant.

          Darren Brayer Schwiebert, DBS Law, LLC, Counsel for Plaintiff.

          Amy M. Goltz, Gurstel Chargo, P.A., Counsel for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Michael J. Davis, United States District Court Judge

         I. Background

         Plaintiff incurred a financial obligation in the late 2000s in the form of a credit card account with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Complaint ¶ 6.) Wells Fargo is alleged to have charged off the account on or about August 31, 2010. (Id. ¶ 7.) On the day of the charge off, Wells Fargo reported the balance due on the credit card as $4, 953.47. (Id. ¶ 8.)

         For several months before the charge off, Wells Fargo ceased adding interest to the outstanding balance. (Id. ¶ 9.) Also, Wells Fargo ceased sending Plaintiff statements showing the accumulation of interest. (Id. ¶ 10.) Following the charge off, no alleged successor of Wells Fargo sent Plaintiff a statement showing the accumulation of interest. (Id. ¶ 11.) Wells Fargo and its alleged successors' admissions, acts and omissions establish a waiver of the right to collect interest on the account. (Id. ¶ 13.)

         Defendant Admiral Investments, LLC (“Admiral”) acquired this debt in October 2012. (Id. ¶ 12.) Thereafter, Admiral began to attempt to collect on the debt. (Id. ¶ 14.) Admiral sent Plaintiff a letter dated October 18, 2012 in which it stated that the outstanding balance was $7, 385.01. (Id. ¶ 15.) Admiral also sent Plaintiff validation documents with a letter dated October 23, 2015. (Id. ¶ 16.) In this letter, Admiral represented that the outstanding balance, including interest and late charges, was $10, 812.27. (Id.)

         On January 10, 2016, Admiral served a state court complaint on Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 17.) In the complaint, Admiral alleged that Plaintiff was indebted to Admiral in the amount of $4, 953.47. (Id. ¶ 18.)

         On February 23, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action in which she alleges that Admiral has a pattern and practice of making improper attempts to recover from Minnesota consumers post charge-off interest despite the waiver of interest before Admiral acquired the debt. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff alleges such conduct violates numerous sections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2), 1692e(5) and 1692e(10) by falsely representing the character, amount or legal status of the alleged debt, threatening to take action that cannot legally be taken and using a false representation or deceptive means to collect a debt.

         Plaintiff further alleges that Admiral violated 15 U.S.C. § § 1692f and 1692f(1) by using unfair means to collect the alleged debt and by attempting to collect an amount not authorized by the agreement or permitted by law. (Id. ¶¶ 24-26.)

         Before the Court is Admiral's motion to dismiss on the grounds the claims are time-barred, that Plaintiff lacks standing and/or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         II. Standard

         Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may move the Court to dismiss a claim if, on the pleadings, a party has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court takes all facts alleged in the complaint to be true. Zutz v. Nelson, 601 F.3d 842, 848 (8th Cir. 2010).

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Thus, although a complaint need not include detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and ...

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