United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
A. BRADY JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Plaintiff, Jill Newman, brings this action pursuant to the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). She alleges that
Midland Funding, LLC (Midland), and Lloyd & McDaniel, PLC
(L&M), used false, deceptive, or misleading
representations, as well as unfair and unconscionable means
to collect debts on two consumer credit card accounts. The
Defendants have moved for dismissal of the Complaint pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) [ECF Nos. 27
& 29]. The Defendants argue that the Plaintiff's
interpretation of the pertinent collection letters was
illogical, incorrect, and directly contradicted by the plain
language of the letters, and that the Complaint and attached
exhibits demonstrate that the objective unsophisticated
consumer would not be confused in the manner alleged by the
reasons set forth in this Opinion and Order, the Court will
grant the Motions to Dismiss.
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint and not the
merits of the suit. Gibson v. City of Chi., 910 F.2d
1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990). The court presumes all
well-pleaded allegations to be true, views them in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff, and accepts as true all
reasonable inferences to be drawn from the allegations.
Whirlpool Fin. Corp. v. GN Holdings, Inc., 67 F.3d
605, 608 (7th Cir. 1995).
Supreme Court has articulated the following standard
regarding factual allegations that are required to survive
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the
“grounds” of his “entitlement to
relief” requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quotation marks, ellipsis, citations, and footnote omitted).
A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to
“state a claim that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility
when the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
the court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts and draw
all permissible inferences in the Plaintiff's favor, it
need not accept as true “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly at 555). Legal conclusions can provide a
complaint's framework, but unless well-pleaded factual
allegations move the claims from conceivable to plausible,
they are insufficient to state a claim. Id. at
679-80. “[D]etermining whether a complaint states a
plausible claim” is “a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. at 679.
following statements are taken from the allegations in the
First Amended Complaint, including the exhibits attached and
incorporated therein. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(c)
(“A copy of a written instrument that is an exhibit to
a pleading is a part of the pleading for all
Plaintiff incurred debts with Synchrony bank arising out of
two credit card accounts. Midland obtained the debts and
retained the law firm of Blatt, Hasenmiller, Leibsker &
Moore, LLC (Blatt) for purposes of collection. Blatt obtained
state court judgments on behalf of Midland.
in July 2017, the Plaintiff entered into a payment plan with
Blatt for each account, which it memorialized in letters to
the Plaintiff. (First. Am. Compl., Ex. A.) The letters stated
that the minimum monthly payments were $60 and $55 on the two
accounts. The letters further directed the Plaintiff to make
payment directly to a specific office by July 27, 2017, and
by the agreed day of each payment period thereafter. The
letters stated that failure to pay the agreed minimum payment
could result in further legal action after judgment.
would not take further action to collect the debts, such as
garnishment, if the Plaintiff made the minimum payments each
month. The Plaintiff provided Blatt her bank account
information and authorized the creation of electronic checks
from her bank account for the agreed-upon amounts each month.
The Plaintiff understood that payments would continue to be
taken every month until the debts were paid in full. Blatt
created electronic checks and ...