Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Walker v. Fabrizio & Brook, P.C.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 2, 2017

MATTHEW WALKER, Plaintiffs,
v.
FABRIZIO & BROOK, P.C., et al, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [DOC. 24]

          Victoria A. Roberts, United States District Judge

         Matthew and Stephanie Walker (“the Walkers”) filed an amended complaint (“Amended Complaint”) against the law firm of Fabrizio & Brook, P.C. (“Fabrizio”) and Detroit Legal News Publishing, LLC (“Detroit Legal News”). The Walkers allege efforts to collect their mortgage debt by Fabrizio, and a notice of foreclosure sale posted and published by Fabrizio and Detroit Legal News, violated their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Michigan's Regulation of Collection Practices Act. The Walkers also allege that Detroit Legal News, in publishing the notice of foreclosure sale, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

         Detroit Legal News filed a motion to dismiss (“Motion”) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). The motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         The Walkers purchased a home and executed a mortgage that was assigned to The Note Authority, LLC (“The Note Authority”). Prior to March 14, 2017, the Walkers defaulted on their mortgage payments, and The Note Authority hired Fabrizio to foreclose on the Walkers' mortgage. As a part of the foreclosure process, multiple letters were exchanged between the Walkers and Fabrizio in March and April of 2017.

         On May 4, 2017, Fabrizio posted a public notice of an impending sheriff sale of the property for June 1, 2017 in the Detroit Legal News. The public notice stated that the debt and the Walkers were being pursued by debt collectors, that the mortgage debt is in default, and the amount owed was $56, 825.94.

         The Walkers claim that Fabrizio shared their personal information with Detroit Legal News through a private computer system called a portal. The information included their names, address, mortgage amount, loan balance, and the fact of the defaulted mortgage. The information was downloaded from the loan servicer or lender, and either manually or automatically populated into corresponding fields in the Fabrizio's computer system. By the click of a mouse, the Walkers' information was transmitted directly from Fabrizio's computer system to Detroit Legal News's computer system. According to the Walkers, there was little to no communication that occurred between employees of Fabrizio and Detroit Legal News; it all took place electronically. The Walkers acknowledge that the information uploaded by Fabrizio directly to Detroit Legal News via the portal was required by state foreclosure statutes. Once Detroit Legal News received the information, its computer system automatically populated with the information and formatted it into the public foreclosure notice seen in newspapers, the internet, and in county buildings.

         The Walkers also allege that Detroit Legal News sold their public notice to target marketers. The Walkers claim that they are now being inundated with letters from attorneys, modification companies, and bankruptcy clinics which read about their foreclosure and offered related services. This, according to the Walkers, added to the shame and embarrassment that the public notice caused.

         According to the Walkers, Detroit Legal News is a consumer reporting agency, and the public notice is a consumer report, as defined by the FCRA. The Walkers allege that Detroit Legal News created the public notice based on inaccurate information from Fabrizio and with few, if any, reasonable procedures. Detroit Legal News then published the public notice, and sold it to target marketers. This lack of reasonable procedures, according to the Walkers, violates 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). Amended Complaint, Par. 4, 101, 105, 107, 109.

         In its Motion, Detroit Legal News claims: 1) it is not a “consumer reporting agency” as defined by the FCRA; and 2) the statutorily-mandated foreclosure notice is not a “consumer report” as defined by the FCRA. For these reasons, Detroit Legal News argues that the Walkers fail to state a cognizable claim against it.

         II. Legal Standard

         A. Motion to Dismiss

         A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) tests the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint. The Court reviews such a motion under the same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Sensations, Inc. v. City of Grand Rapids, 526 F.3d, 291, 295-96 (6th Cir. 2008). As such, it must accept as true all well-pled material allegations in the complaint and “determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). The Court may grant a motion for judgment on the pleadings only where the movants clearly establish that no material issue of fact remains unresolved and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Poplar Creek Dev. Co. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, 636 F.3d 235, 240 (6th Cir. 2011); Drew v. Kemp-Brooks, 802 F.Supp.2d 889, 892 (E.D. Mich. 2011). To withstand a Rule ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.