Colbert v. Account Services Collection, Inc.

Filing 5

MEMORANDUM Order. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 9/21/2016:Mailed notice(clw, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION ANNA COLBERT, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiff, v. ACCOUNT SERVICES, etc., Defendant. Case No. 16 C 9040 MEMORANDUM ORDER 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. __________________________ 1 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 There is no need to refer to the original Complaint because it was superseded by the AC. 2 All further references to Title 15's provisions will simply take the form "Section --," omitting the prefatory "15 U.S.C. §."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 frustration. In candor, it seems more likely that it is Colbert's counsel who may sustain any of those feelings -2- 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 -3- ACCOUNT SERVICES 1802 N.E. LOOP 410, SUITE 400 "it SAN Al'TTONlO) TEXAS 78217 (lIO) 821-1122 • (800) 777-5076 May 23, 2016 RE: BEST FA IENDS PET CARE $1 A27.00 Balance Due: Account Number: 5045305 File Number. 01 16-048-9614 & Dear ANNA COLBERT, Yo I ave been sent seve~ll1Io1 ces, in reference. ~o payi?9 . e fur on your P,aSt ue BEST FRIE I D~ . PET CARE account Our client provsded you services 1 e ,e,xpeotaUon that e e re balal'lCe WO Id be paid In II. For atever ease, • you, ave sled 0 do so and you acoou t as for.varded to us for Iiquida ·Oll. Since I en you have been I ab e or n iIIil1g 0 pay the Ibalanoe i I. Our office is nowoffe' i 9 you t 9 op U [y to make ,easonable payments and ma.~e good ,on yo r promise to pay this. just and ho est debt. Please co tac us today at (BOO)! 7n·5076 to disouss your payment options. This is an a emp110 collect a debl. A y informafion obtained ro a (j ell cor ector_ "n be used tm that p rpose. This GomrrHm·cation Sloerely, f~ I "$ • CA TIO_ TE:.I:· Account Se "ces U-U 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 rna l oolineal www.accountserv;ct!.~-usa.colJllj ments - .;..cTI'f'.«~7:l7:ll3-1~ Please OS, PET CARE DEPT 61:2 79300632 6050 PO BOX 4115 co COfm,CA­ I IIIII DUI IImlIIIIIIlIIIIDU,III I New Phone: ORESS SBMCE R:EOUESTE.D B FfZF 'ACT793&0632 6()5()j III •• E.tll'I'II*IIIIII'I'JII'IIJ'I~~."'IIIIII ••I.1111 _111•• AmounI E.ndosed:. tl· A COLBERT 327 IE SEEGEiRS AD APT 116 Ac:rount Secvloes PO, Box ,659818 AAU 6.10 I HEIGHTS IL 60005-4051 San III ~,I Q II '11'ln io, TX 78~&5--9118 '~lllmlll lI'III1U~IIII"II'II,III'I' II II" '111' pp Ex. 1

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