United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (Motion to Dismiss - dkt. no. 6)
MIRANDA M. DU, District Judge.
Before the Court is Defendant Easy Loans Corporation's ("Easy Loans") Motion to Dismiss (dkt. no. 6). The Court has also considered Plaintiff Jennifer Todorov's opposition (dkt. no. 8) and Easy Loans' reply (dkt no. 9). For the reasons that follow, the Motion to Dismiss is denied in part and granted in part.
This case arises under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA" or "Act"). 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p. Under the FDCPA, Plaintiff Jennifer Todorov ("Todorov") challenges a lawsuit Easy Loans filed against her to collect an allegedly defaulted credit card debt. (Dkt. no. 1 ¶¶ 12-13, 31-40.) These facts are taken from Todorov's complaint.
Before July 2008, Todorov incurred a financial obligation to Washington Mutual Bank ("Creditor") by purchasing family, personal, or household services using a credit card issued by the Creditor. ( Id. ¶¶ 7-8, 13, 15; Dkt. no. 1-3 at 5.) Todorov defaulted on this debt. (Dkt. no. 1 ¶ 15.) Easy Loans later acquired the debt from the Creditor, either because "[t]he [d]ebt was purchased, assigned or transferred to [Easy Loans] for collection, " or because Easy Loans "was employed by the Creditor to collect the [d]ebt." ( Id. ¶ 10.) To collect Todorov's debt, Easy Loans brought a lawsuit on December 18, 2012, in the Las Vegas Township Justice Court in Clark County, Nevada ("Easy Loans' Lawsuit"). ( Id. ¶ 12.) Easy Loans' Lawsuit alleged that Todorov had breached her credit card agreement with the Creditor, and owed an "account stated" to Easy Loans. (Dkt. no. 1-3 at 5-8.) Todorov wrote to Easy Loans on April 21, 2013, to dispute the debt alleged in its lawsuit. (Dkt. no. 1-4 at 2.) Easy Loans never verified the debt. (Dkt. no. 1 ¶¶ 19-21.)
Easy Loans' Lawsuit stated that Todorov had defaulted "[o]n or about July 21, 2008." (Dkt. no. 1-3 at 5.) Todorov, however, defaulted at some point before July 21, 2004. (Dkt. no. 1 ¶ 15.) Because Todorov's default occurred more than six (6) years before Easy Loans filed its lawsuit in December 2012, Easy Loans attempted to collect a time-barred debt. ( Id. ¶¶ 15-18.) As a result of Easy Loans' Lawsuit, Todorov "suffered and continues to suffer from humiliation, anger, anxiety, emotional distress, fear, frustration, and embarrassment." ( Id. ¶ 24.) Todorov has also considered bankruptcy "to stop harassing calls in the future." ( Id. ¶ 25.)
Todorov filed this lawsuit on July 17, 2013, alleging violations of the following FDCPA sections: 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692d, 1692e, 1692e(2), 1692e(5), 1692e(8), 1692e(10), 1692f, 1692f(1), 1692g, 1692g(b). (Dkt. no. 1 ¶¶ 31-40.) Todorov seeks actual and statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(1)-(2). ( Id. at 8.)
III. LEGAL STANDARD
On a 12(b)(6) motion, the court must determine "whether the complaint's factual allegations, together with all reasonable inferences, state a plausible claim for relief." Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., 637 F.3d 1047, 1054 (9th Cir. 2011) ( citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009)). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 ( citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)).
When determining the sufficiency of a claim, "[w]e accept factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the non-moving party[; however, this tenet does not apply to]... legal conclusions... cast in the form of factual allegations." Fayer v. Vaughn, 649 F.3d 1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2011) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). "Therefore, conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are insufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss." Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 ("A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" ( quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555)).
The FDCPA is "generally" a strict liability statute. Clark v. Capital Credit & Coll. Servs., Inc., 460 F.3d 1162, 1176 & n.11 (9th Cir. 2006). To plead a claim under the Act, a plaintiff must show: (1) that she is a "consumer" who (2) incurred a "debt" within the Act's scope, (3) that the defendant is a "debt collector, " and (4) that the defendant violated the Act. Freeman v. ABC Legal Servs., Inc., 827 F.Supp.2d 1065, 1071 (N.D. Cal. 2011); see 15 U.S.C. § 1692a.
Easy Loans argues that Todorov has failed to state a claim for three reasons. (Dkt. no. 6 at 4-12.) First, Easy Loans argues that it is not a debt collector subject to the FDCPA. ( Id. at 12.) Second, Easy Loans contends that its lawsuit was not time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations. ( Id. at 7-8.) Finally, Easy Loans asserts that Todorov's untimely validation request could not trigger the FDCPA's verification requirements. ( Id. at 12.) ...