United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Stephen J. Murphy, III STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III United States
debt-collection-practices case, Defendant attempted to
collect debt that Plaintiff owed to her condominium
association, but Defendant's collection practices
allegedly violated federal and state law. Before the Court is
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court
reviewed the briefs and finds that a hearing is unnecessary.
E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will grant in part and deny in part Defendant's
judgment is proper if there is "no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is material
for purposes of summary judgment if its resolution would
establish or refute an "essential element of a cause
of action or defense asserted by the parties[.]"
Kendall v. Hoover Co., 751 F.2d 171, 174 (6th Cir.
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
view the facts and draw all inferences in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Stiles ex rel. D.S. v.
Grainger Cty., Tenn., 819 F.3d 834, 848 (6th Cir. 2016).
The Court must then determine "whether the evidence
presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a
jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must
prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986). And although
the Court may not make credibility judgments or weigh the
evidence, Moran v. Al Basit LLC, 788 F.3d 201, 204
(6th Cir. 2015), a mere "scintilla" of evidence is
insufficient to survive summary judgment; "there must be
evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the
plaintiff, " Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
alleges that Defendant's collection practices violated:
(1) the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
("FDCPA"); (2) Michigan's Occupational Code;
and (3) the Michigan Collection Practices Act. ECF 1.
Defendant moved for summary judgment on all counts. ECF 19.
The Court will address each claim in turn.
Debt Collection Practices Act
FDCPA imposes civil liability on debt collectors for certain
prohibited debt collection practices. Jerman v. Carlisle,
McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich LPA, 559 U.S. 573,
576 (2010). One prohibited practice is the false
representation of the amount of a debt. 15 U.S.C. §
1692e(2)(A). There is an allegation and some evidence that
Defendant may have committed that prohibited act. Defendant,
for example, filed a lien on June 21, 2012 indicating that
Plaintiff owed $718.50. ECF 20-7, PgID 176. But
Plaintiff's "occupant ledger" indicated that
she actually owed $203.50. ECF 22-3, PgID 230. About a year
later, Defendant filed a second lien indicating Plaintiff
owed $815.00. And again Plaintiff's occupant ledger
suggested she owed a lesser amount. ECF 22-5, PgID 232.
Although Defendant could ultimately avoid liability if, for
example, the violations were unintentional, see 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692k(c), Defendant failed to make a showing on
intent. The claim therefore must survive summary judgment.
Michigan's Occupational Code
Occupational Code prohibits making inaccurate statements to
collect a debt. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 339.915(e). As
described in Section I, the discrepancies between the liens
filed by Defendant and the occupant ledgers suggest that
Defendant may have made inaccurate statements to collect a
debt. Consequently, the Court will not enter summary judgment
in Defendant's favor.
Michigan Collection Practices Act
argues that it is not regulated by the Michigan Collection
Practices Act, but failed to cite any law in support. ECF 19,
PgID 79. Defendant's bald assertion appears to be true.
The Michigan Collection Practices Act prohibits a
"regulated person" from committing certain acts.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.252. Persons regulated by the
Michigan Occupational Code are not regulated persons for
purposes of the Michigan Collections Practices Act. See Mich.
Comp. Laws § 445.251(b) and (g). Plaintiff does not
dispute that Defendant is licensed under the Michigan
Occupational Code. Consequently, Defendant is ...