In Cooper v. Atl. Credit & Fin., No. 19-12177, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 23719 (11th Cir. July 28, 2020), the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found no Article III standing for an overshadowing claim under the FDCPA.
Here, Cooper’s alleged injuries are just as inchoate, if not more so. She does not allege that, without the purportedly confusing language in the second letter, she would have disputed the debt or sought validation of the debt within the thirty-day validation period, that she had any doubt regarding the validity of the debt, or that she would have accepted one of the payment options in the second letter. . . .The Seventh Circuit recently took the same approach in Casillas v. Madison Ave. Assocs.,Inc., 926 F.3d 329 (7th Cir. 2019). In Casillas, the plaintiff alleged that the FDCPA-required notice improperly failed to specify that her notification of dispute or request for provision of the original creditor must be in writing. 926 F.3d at 332. The plaintiff there, like Cooper, “did not allege that she tried — or even planned to try — to dispute the debt or verify that [a credit union] was actually her creditor.” Id. This was relevant, said the court, since the plaintiff was “not at any risk of losing her statutory rights because there was no prospect that she would have tried to exercise them.” Id. at 334. To establish standing, a plaintiff must instead “show that the violation harmed or presented an appreciable risk of harm to the underlying concrete interest that Congress sought to protect.” Id. at 333. The court [*9] therefore concluded that the plaintiff had not alleged anything more than a “bare procedural violation.” Id. at 334 (quoting Spokeo, 136 S. Ct. at 1549). As for the other Seventh Circuit cases that Cooper cites, from the Seventh Circuit itself and its district courts, none of them are persuasive, and, of course, none are binding on us. So, for example, in Lavallee v. Med-Sols., LLC , 932 F.3d 1049 (7th Cir. 2019), the plaintiff had “never received any of the disclosures required by § 1692g(a),” and had already been sued without the benefit of the mandatory disclosures. Id. at 1053. These two factors provided concreteness to her injury. Id. They are not present in Cooper’s case — Cooper received a validation notice in the first letter and was not a defendant in a collection suit. 7 Case: 19-12177 Date Filed: 07/28/2020 Page: 8 of 11 she allege that she suffered any harm beyond the alleged statutory violations, or that Atlantic and Midland ever made any further attempts to collect the debt at issue any time after the October 13, 2017 second letter, prior to the filing of the complaint in August 2018. Indeed, like one of the plaintiffs we found to lack standing in Trichell, who “assert[ed] only that the letters ‘would lead a consumer to believe that they [sic] had to pay this debt to avoid being sued, credit reported, or having to pay the full amount at some point in the future,'” Cooper talks only of her confusion without any possible financial or legal consequences. Id. at __, 2020 WL 3634917 at *6.