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Olson v. Messerli & Kramer, P.A.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 12, 2018

Ruth Olson, Plaintiff,
v.
Messerli & Kramer, P.A., Defendant.

          Blake Bauer, Fields Law Firm, appeared for Ruth Olson.

          Derrick N. Weber and Stephanie Shawn Lamphere, Messerli & Kramer, P.A., appeared for Messerli & Kramer, P.A.

          ORDER

          JOAN N. ERICKSEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Ruth Olson brought this action against Messerli & Kramer, P.A. (“Messerli”) for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Messerli moved to dismiss Olson's complaint. For the reasons set forth below, that motion is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         Sometime prior to December 2016, Olson defaulted on a debt to Barclays Bank in the amount of $917.05. That debt was assigned to Midland Funding for collection. Midland then hired Messerli to assist in the collection of the alleged debt, which stood at $999.05.

         On May 19, 2017, Olson called Messerli. Olson told the Messerli phone representative that she was calling “to get more information” about her alleged debt and to ask about her upcoming conciliation court trial in Washington County. Compl. ¶ 12; ECF No. 1-1 at 5. She also mentioned “trying to work out a settlement.” ECF No. 1-1 at 5. According to a transcript of that call attached to Olson's complaint, the representative's response and the ensuing exchanges were as follows:

MESSERLI REP: OK, I'll be able to assist you with that. The hearing is set for June 8, 2017 at 9:00, where the judgment will be entered, if it's not paid in full, and if you were to pay it in full today, the hearing cannot be stopped, however, what they would do is order the judgment and show that it was paid. Um, satisfied. So, um, are you able to pay the full $999.05?
OLSON: No, no I'm not, so that's why I was calling, to get the documentation, for one, to show, you know, why I owe this $917, and what is this settlement agreement…
REP: We don't do settlements on those balances. It is a payment in full, but let me see what I can…
OLSON: Jupiter? Credit card? Jupiter?
REP: Mmhmm. Let me see if I can offer you more. We are limited, so um, I can tell you that it was opened on August 7, 2009. The last time a payment was made was February 28, 2014, in the amount of $20.00, and it was charged off to our clients on October 30, 2014 for the $917.05. And then our client retained us, and placed it with us, on 12/5/2016. The $82 additional cost is because we have requested a hearing. They charge us, so that goes back on to your balance. And when we get charged, it automatically goes on to your balance.
OLSON: OK, so you say there is no settlement agreement, because that's what they sent me in the mail, they told me that this is what, you know, before, something that I need to pursue.
REP: What we can do, an option, um that is available to you, it is our firm's policy, anything other than a payment in full, we have to go through a brief financial statement, basically what I would be asking you is your income versus your expenses, and then we can determine what a monthly repayment option would be.
OLSON: OK, well I just wanted to check in with you and get this information before I get back to my attorney. I ...

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