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Smith v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
November 1, 2016
ELIZABETH SMITH Plaintiff,
CONVERGENT OUTSOURCING, INC., Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT.
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a debt collection case. Defendant Convergent Outsourcing
moves for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56 on the ground that its inclusion in a debt
collection letter of the sentence “We cannot sue to
collect this debt and providing a partial payment may revive
the creditor's ability to sue to collect the
balance” means its letter did not violate the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act. Because even the least
sophisticated consumer would not be misled by the use of the
words “settle” and “may” in the
context of this letter, Defendant's motion as to Count I
is GRANTED. But because Defendant did not argue that it was
entitled to summary judgment on Count II (violation of the
Michigan Occupational Code) and Count III (violation of the
Michigan Collection Practices Act), Defendant's motion as
to Counts II and III is DENIED, and these claims are REMANDED
to state court.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Elizabeth Smith is a former customer of Sprint who allegedly
failed to pay Sprint $798.89. Defendant Convergent
Outsourcing is a debt collector who has been seeking to
collect this debt since 2012. On April 2, 2015, Defendant
sent Plaintiff the letter that prompted this lawsuit. The
letter was a single page, double sided. On the front,
Defendant made a settlement offer of $279.61:
Dear Elizabeth Smith:
This notice is being sent to you by a collection agency. The
records of Sprint show that your account has a past due
balance of S 798.89.
Our client has advised us that they are willing to offer you
a reduced settlement amount of your total balance due to
settle your past due balance The full settlement amount or
first payment of your selected payment program must be
received in our office within 45 days of this letter. If you
are interested in taking advantage of this settlement
opportunity, please complete the below information and remit
with your payment.
Your settlement amount would be $ 279.61 to dear this account
in full. This amount represents a 65% savings of your total
balance. We are not obligated to make this offer to you tn
the future. Even if you are unable to take advantage of this
offer, please contact us to see what terms can be worked out
on your account.
Payment of a settlement amount does not make you
eligible for reinstatement of Sprint services. To be eligible
to reapply for service, your entire balance must be paid.
Upon payment of the entire balance, you may apply for new
service with Sprint. You may be subject to a security deposit
on each new unit you establish.
Convergent Outsourcing, Inc
THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT AND AN Y INFORMATION
OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. THIS COMMUNICATION ...
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