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Bereket v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

October 4, 2017

ABBY BEREKET, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT PORTFOLIO'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC's (“Portfolio”) Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt. #13. Defendant seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's claim on the basis that he[1] fails to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Id. Plaintiff opposes the motion, arguing that Defendant has misconstrued the relevant law and that he has sufficiently alleged his claims.[2] Dkt. #17. Having reviewed the record before it, the Court now DENIES Defendant's motion for the reasons discussed herein.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed a proposed class action on May 24, 2017. He alleges that Defendant's actions violated § 1692 et seq. of Title 15 of the United States Code, commonly referred to as the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”) which prohibits debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive and unfair practices. Dkt. #1 at ¶ 4. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges:

21. Some time prior to August 23, 2016 an obligation was allegedly incurred to Bank of America.
. . .
25. On or about August 23, 2016 Defendant caused to be delivered to Plaintiff a collection letter in an attempt to collect the alleged debt. See Exhibit A.
. . .
28. The August 23, 2016 letter offered the Plaintiff a number of payment options, one of which offered [] an ‘Installment Option' for the Plaintiff to pay off his entire alleged debt over the course of a number of months:
[Embedded image of options in letter not copied]
29. As of August 23, 2016, more than six (6) years had elapsed since the last payment or activity on the Bank of America debt subject to the letter.
30. Pursuant to RCW 4.16.040, the statute of limitations is six (6) years for filing suit to collect on a debt.
31. The August 23, 2016 letter states, “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it.”
32. The Defendant fails to inform the Plaintiff that should he choose one of the payment plans offered it may re-start the statute of limitations, which may expose the Plaintiff to future litigation for this debt.
33. The Defendant does not inform Plaintiff that should the statute of limitations reset, the Defendant may have the right to commence legal action, which otherwise would have been barred.
34. The Defendant regularly sends collection letters on time-barred debts, offering small monthly installment plans in payment of the entire debt, but does not inform the consumer that the statute of limitations may reset upon making the first monthly payment.
35. The Defendant regularly sends letters seeking to collect debts, which are time-barred, that offer small monthly installment plans in payment of the entire debt, informing the consumer that he or he will not be sued due to the age of the debt; but not informing the consumer that the statute of limitations may reset if a partial payment is made on the debt, therefore allowing the Defendant the option of commencing legal action, which otherwise would be barred by the statute of limitations.

Dkt. #1 at ¶ ¶ 21, 25 and 28-34 (bold in original). Plaintiff alleges that these actions violate section 15 U.S.C. § 1692e of the ...


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