United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
MARCO SALINAS, individually and on behalf of similarly situated consumers, Plaintiff,
R.A. ROGERS, INC., Defendant.
RODRIGUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
date, the Court considered Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment (docket no. 22), Plaintiff's response (docket
no. 23), and Defendant's reply (docket no. 24). After
careful consideration, the Court GRANTS Defendant's
case stems from Defendant R.A. Rogers's attempt to
collect a debt owed by Plaintiff Marco Salinas for a loan
from Security Service Federal Credit Union
(“SSFCU”). SSFCU turned over collection of this
debt to Defendant, and Defendant's subsequent collection
effort led to Plaintiff's filing of this suit on July 16,
2018. Docket no. 1.
unknown date, Plaintiff took out a loan for personal, family,
and household use from SSFCU. Docket no. 1 at 2. On September
5, 2017, Defendant sent an initial dunning letter in an
attempt to collect on this debt. Id. The letter
states that the “principle balance” is $4, 629.96
with $0.00 in “fee[s]” and
“interest.” Docket no. 23-1. It also states that
the total amount due is $4, 629.96 in two other places on the
letter. Id. Defendant's letter states,
“[i]n the event there is interest or other charges
accruing on your account, the amount due may be greater than
the amount shown above after the date of this notice.”
Id. Plaintiff alleges that this language is false,
deceptive, and misleading in violation of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) because
Defendant does not collect interest or other charges related
to SSFCU and the agreement between Plaintiff and SSFCU does
not allow for interest to accrue or other charges to be
added. Docket no. 23 at 2-3.
brings this suit as a class action under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23 and seeks certification for the class to
include “[a]ll consumers within the State of Texas that
have received collection letters from Defendant concerning
debts from Security Service FCU within one year prior to
filing of his complaint which falsely represent to the
consumer that interest or other charges may accrue.”
Docket no. 1 at 3.
now moves for summary judgment on the basis that no
reasonable factfinder could find the statement at issue in
the 2017 letter violates 15 U.S.C. § 1692 because it is
accurate and thus not false, deceptive, or misleading.
Defendant agrees that it does not collect interest or other
charges on debts referred to it for collection by SSFCU and
that the agreement between Plaintiff and SSFCU is silent as
to whether interest or other charges could accrue. Docket no.
22 at 4-5. Defendant does not agree that this renders the
statement false, deceptive, or misleading because of the
conditional language used. Id. at 11.
Standard of Review
is entitled to summary judgment only if it demonstrates that
there is no genuine dispute of material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). In order to demonstrate that there is no genuine issue
of material fact, a movant either has to negate the existence
of a material element of the non-movant's claim or
defense or point out that the evidence in the record is
insufficient when the non-movant bears the burden of proof
for that element at trial. Lavespere v. Niagra Machine
& Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 178 (5th Cir.
1990). To satisfy its initial responsibility, a movant
without the burden of proof at trial need only point out that
there is an absence of evidence to support the
non-movant's claim to shift the burden to the non-movant
to show that summary judgment is not proper. See Fields
v. City of S. Hous., 922 F.2d 1183, 1187 (5th Cir.
is a genuine issue of material fact when the evidence allows
a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-movant.
Rogers v. Bromac Title Servs., L.L.C., 755 F.3d 347,
350 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). In order to conclude
that no genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must
be satisfied that no reasonable trier of fact could have
found for the non-movant. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at
250 n.4. A court on summary judgment must review the summary
judgment record taken as a whole, but the court is not
permitted to make “credibility determinations or weigh
the evidence.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods.,
Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000). The court must review
“all facts and inferences in the light most favorable
to the nonmoving party.” Dillon v. Rogers, 596
F.3d 260, 266 (5th Cir.2010).
purpose of the FDCPA is to “eliminate abusive debt
collection practices by debt collectors.” 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692e. Because it is clear that Congress
“intended the FDCPA to have a broad remedial scope,
” the FDCPA should be “construed broadly and in
favor of the consumer.” Daugherty v. Convergent
Outsourcing, Inc., 836 F.3d 507, 511 (5th Cir. 2016)
(internal citations and quotations omitted). In order to
state a claim under § 1692e, (1) the Plaintiff must be a
“consumer” under the Act, (2) the defendant must
be a “debt collector” under the Act, and (3) the
defendant's alleged act or omission must constitute a
violation of that provision of the FDCPA. See Gonzalez v.
Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 604 (5th Cir. 2009). Because both
parties agree that Plaintiff is a ...