United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT [DOC. 18]
HONORABLE VICTORIA A. ROBERTS JUDGE
Owens (“Owens”), a condominium owner, filed a
complaint against EquityExperts.org, LLC (“Equity
Experts”), a collection agency. Owens alleges that
Equity Experts wrongfully charged her its costs to collect
her delinquent condominium association assessment fees, in
violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et al.
filed a motion for summary judgment (“Motion”).
That motion is DENIED.
2004, Owens accepted title to a condominium located within
The Parks at Stonegate Pointe (“Stonegate
Pointe”), a residential community. Stonegate Pointe was
established pursuant to a Declaration of Covenants,
Conditions, and Restrictions, which was amended in April 2003
(“Declaration”). The Declaration states that by
accepting title, each owner agrees to pay to Stonegate Pointe
Association (“Association”), assessment fees when
due. The Declaration also states that the assessment,
interest, costs of collection, court costs and reasonable
attorneys' fees, constitute a lien on the condominium
unit, and a personal obligation on the owner. Stonegate
Pointe authorizes Equity Experts to charge delinquent owners
February 2009, Equity Experts informed Owens that a lien had
been placed on her condominium for nonpayment of assessment
fees. In July 2012, Owens's condominium was sold in a
foreclosure sale. By March 2013, Owens had paid off all
obligations to the Association and the lien was released.
August 2013, Equity Experts informed Owens that another lien
had been placed on her condominium; she owed $915 to the
Association. Owens made payments directly to the Association,
but in November 2013, Stonegate Pointe mailed Owens a letter
explaining that collection fees were outstanding. In March
2015, Equity Experts mailed Owens another letter saying she
owed Stonegate Pointe $2, 910. The letter stated that
although Owens had paid her assessment fee each month, she
failed to pay collection fees from 2013, payable to Equity
Experts sent Owens another letter in August 2015 saying that
it was attempting to collect on a debt on behalf of Stonegate
Pointe, and that it would proceed with foreclosure
in September 2015, Owens received a letter from the
Association stating that she had a $50 credit in her account.
However two weeks later, Equity Experts sent a letter saying
that her account with the Association remained unpaid.
says she never agreed to pay collection fees to Equity
Experts or the Association from 2013. She claims she is
entitled to summary judgment because Equity Experts: 1)
attempted to collect fees that she did not owe, in violation
of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2)(A); 2) threatened to take action
that it legally could not, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §
1692e(5) and § 1692f(6); and 3) attempted to collect an
amount not expressly authorized by agreement, in violation of
15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), “[t]he Court
shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The movant
bears the initial burden to inform the Court of the basis for
her motion, and must identify particular portions of the
record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute as
to any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the movant satisfies her burden, the
non-moving party must set forth specific facts showing a
genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324. A genuine issue
of material fact exists “if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Unsupported, conclusory statements are
insufficient to establish a factual dispute to defeat summary
judgment, as is the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence
in support of the non-movant's position; the evidence
must be such that a reasonable jury could find in its favor.
Alexander v. CareSource, 576 F.3d 551, 560 (6th Cir.
2009); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 252 (1986).
deciding a summary judgment motion, the Court “views
the factual evidence and draws all reasonable inferences in
favor of the nonmoving party.” McLean v. 988011
Ontario, Ltd., 224 F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir. 2000). The
Court only needs to consider the cited materials, but it may
consider other evidence in the record. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3).
The Court's function at the summary judgment stage
“is not to weigh the evidence and determine the ...