Colbert v. Account Services Collection, Inc.
MEMORANDUM Order. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 9/21/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
ACCOUNT SERVICES, etc.,
Case No. 16 C 9040
Anna Colbert ("Colbert") has filed what is labeled as an "Amended Complaint" ("AC") 1
against defendant Account Services, identified in AC ¶ 10 as a "debt collector" within the
definition of that term in 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). 2 This memorandum order is issued sua sponte
because of the patently frivolous nature of this action as advanced by Colbert's counsel.
What the AC charges as an asserted violation of the Act points to its Section 1692e(7):
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or
means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general
application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
7. The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime
or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer.
As the court docket reflects, both the original Complaint and the AC were filed on the
same day, September 19, 2016. There is no need to refer to the original Complaint because it
was superseded by the AC.
All further references to Title 15's provisions will simply take the form "Section --,"
omitting the prefatory "15 U.S.C. §."
As Colbert's counsel (and hence Colbert herself) would have it, a May 23, 2016 letter from
Account Services to Colbert "is stating and at the very least implying that Plaintiff is being
dishonest with this debt" (AC ¶ 19).
But unfortunately for any plausible contention that would lend credence to that claim,
Colbert's counsel has attached the assertedly offending letter as Ex. A to the AC, and a
photocopy of that document has been attached as Ex. 1 to this memorandum order. Simply to
read the letter itself demonstrates once again the wisdom of the aphorism in Alexander Pope's
Essay on Criticism:
All seems infected that th' infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye.
In this instance Account Services' collection letter is totally forthright and respectful,
expressly recognizing as it does that Colbert has been either "unable or unwilling to pay the
balance in full" (emphasis added) and offering Colbert "the opportunity to make reasonable
payments and make good on your promise to pay this just and honest debt." No reasonable
reader could fairly view the letter's reference to the debt itself as "just and honest" as somehow
implying dishonesty on Colbert's part or as somehow "imply[ing] that Plaintiff has committed a
disgrace" (AC ¶ 21).
Counsel's parting shot before the AC's prayer for relief is set out at AC ¶ 24:
As a direct consequence of the Defendant's acts, practices and conduct, the
Plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer from humiliation, anger, anxiety, and
In candor, it seems more likely that it is Colbert's counsel who may sustain any of those feelings
as a result of this Court's ruling here. Both the AC and this action are stricken sua sponte (see
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f)(1)).
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: September 21, 2016
1802 N.E. LOOP 410, SUITE 400
SAN Al'TTONlO) TEXAS 78217
(lIO) 821-1122 • (800) 777-5076
May 23, 2016
RE: BEST FA IENDS PET CARE
Account Number: 5045305
Dear ANNA COLBERT,
Yo I ave been sent seve~ll1Io1 ces, in reference. ~o payi?9 . e balance.in fur on your P,aSt ue BEST FRIE I D~ .
PET CARE account Our client provsded you services
1 e ,e,xpeotaUon that e e re balal'lCe WO Id be paid In
II. For atever ease, • you, ave sled 0 do so and you acoou t as for.varded to us for Iiquida ·Oll. Since
I en you have been I
ab e or n iIIil1g 0 pay the Ibalanoe i
Our office is nowoffe' i 9 you t 9 op
U [y to make ,easonable payments and ma.~e good ,on yo r promise to
pay this. just and ho est debt. Please co tac us today at (BOO)! 7n·5076 to disouss your payment options.
This is an a emp110 collect a debl. A y informafion obtained
ro a (j ell cor ector_
"n be used tm that p rpose. This GomrrHm·cation
Account Se "ces
POHTA T .0 IOE··..+ ..
SE DARST· OrrHLY PAYMENT .oW.
GOOD C~EDIT IS VALUABLE
.-., For pro
credit. all payments .a, d correspondence must e .. -led d-reetly to my otrce.........
... Sa , able Espanol
Please 08 Your Fde Number On All :ailings ...~'"
For (Jl1f eonvefJien.ce
l oolineal www.accountserv;ct!.~-usa.colJllj ments
OS, PET CARE
PO BOX 4115
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ORESS SBMCE R:EOUESTE.D
III •• E.tll'I'II*IIIIII'I'JII'IIJ'I~~."'IIIIII ••I.1111 _111••
327 IE SEEGEiRS AD APT 116
PO, Box ,659818
AAU 6.10 I HEIGHTS IL 60005-4051
II II" '111'
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