In Peters v. Coface Collections North America, Inc., 2014 WL 1259778 (D.Ariz. 2014), Judge Martone found that a debtor could not claim the protection of the FDCPA when the debtor had represented at the time of purchase that the goods were to be used for a commercial purpose.
The undisputed evidence shows that plaintiff represented to Princeton that Multi Media Plus was the business purchasing the software and incurring the Debt. By holding himself out as a business, he is estopped from now asserting that he purchased the software as a consumer. Coface contends that in pursuing its collection efforts it relied on the information provided by Princeton that the Debt was owed by Multi Media Plus. During the relevant period, Coface was in the business of collecting commercial debts only. If it learned that a debt was consumer in nature, it would immediately cease all collection efforts. It would work an injustice to allow a debtor to expressly hold itself out as a business at the inception of a debt, only to later contradict that characterization for the purpose of claiming FDCPA protection. ¶ In addition, according to plaintiff’s own admissions, the intended use of the software cannot be characterized as “primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5). Although plaintiff asserts that he made educational 3–D images as a “hobby,” it is undisputed that he intended to use the images beyond his personal use. He acknowledges that he primarily intended to use the images in his classroom and to share the images with the education community. Therefore, plaintiff intended to use the software to create images that would extend beyond his own personal, family, or household use. Accordingly, the evidence establishes that the Debt is not a consumer debt and the FDCPA does not apply.