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Fiddick v. Bay Area Credit Service, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division

April 25, 2019

DANIEL G. FIDDICK Plaintiff.
v.
BAY AREA CREDIT SERVICE, LLC Defendant.

          OPINION

          ANDREW M. EDISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Daniel Fiddick ("Fiddick") brings this action against Defendant Bay Area, Credit Service, LLC ("BACS") pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and the Texas Debt Collection Act ("TDCA")• BACS has moved to dismiss Fiddick's Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). After carefully considering the submissions of the parties and the applicable law, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 17).

         FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS[1]

         In early 2018, Fiddick received medical services at Carver Park Emergency Physicians ("Carver").. Due to financial hardship, Fiddick fell behind on his scheduled payments to Carver, causing him to incur debt (the "Subject Debt")., BACS is in the business of collecting consumer debts for others throughout the country. On May 25, 2018, BACS sent Fiddick a letter, seeking to collect on the Subject Debt. The May 25 letter identified the following amounts due and owing:

         (Image Omitted)

         Dkt. 4 at 3. The May 25 letter also stated: "Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of the debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid." Id. Fiddick did not dispute the validity of the Subject Debt., On October 26, 2018, BACS sent Fiddick two additional letters. The two October 26 letters are identical except that at the bottom of one letter is the reference number "52040644" and the other contains reference number "52069310." The October 26 letters indicate that BACS is a debt collector seeking to collect a debt and references the Subject Debt along with additional medical debts owed by Fiddick. Specifically, the letters provided the following summary of the amounts owed by Fiddick:

         (Image Omitted)

         Dkt.4-lat3.

         Fiddick claims that as a result of the multiple letters "and the conflicting information evident in all letters, [Fiddick] was confused as to the true status of the [S]ubject [D]ebt * and his ability to dispute the same." Dkt. 1 at 3. Additionally, Fiddick maintains that the conflicting reference numbers in the October 26 letters confused him "as it led him to believe that he owed two different debts." Id. at 4. Based on these allegations, Fiddick asserts that BACS violated Sections l692e and l692f of the FDCPA and Section 392.304 of the TDCA through the alleged conflicting information contained in the multiple letters BACS sent him. BACS has filed a Motion to Dismiss, seeking to dismiss Fiddick's Complaint in its entirety.

         RULE 12(B)(6) STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows parties to seek dismissal of a, lawsuit for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the legal standard set forth in Rule 8, requiring "a short and plain statement of the claim showing. that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). "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.'" Ashcroftv. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting BellAtl. Corp., v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] ... a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (citation omitted).

         When conducting its inquiry, the Court "accept[s] all well-pleaded facts as true and view[s] those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Bustos v. Martini Club, Inc., 599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). "[A] well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of [the alleged] facts is improbable, and that a recovery is very remote and unlikely." Twombly, 55OU.Sat556 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). It is important to highlight that a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is "viewed with disfavor and is rarely granted." Harrington v. State Farm & Cas. Co., 563 F.3d 141, 147 (5th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         "[I]n deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, courts must limit their inquiry to the facts stated in the complaint and the documents either attached to or incorporated in the complaint." Lovelace v. ...


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