In Marius D. Popa v. Winn Law Group, APC, et al., 2017 WL 6016567, at *2 (C.D.Cal. 2017), Judge Fischer dismissed an FDCPA class action because of the absence of a “consumer” transaction.
In the FAC’s First, Second, and Third Causes of Action, Plaintiff alleges violation of Section 1692e(10) of the FDCPA, as incorporated into the Rosenthal Act, prohibiting “[t]he use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.”3 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10); Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.17. Defendant argues these claims must be dismissed because (1) Plaintiff fails to plead the Renewed Judgment concerns a “debt” under the Acts; and (2) Defendant as a law firm is exempt from the Rosenthal Act. “Because not all obligations to pay are considered debts under the FDCPA, a threshold issue in a suit brought under the Act is whether or not the dispute involves a ‘debt’ within the meaning of the statute.” Turner v. Cook, 362 F.3d 1219, 1226-27 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing Slenk v. Transworld Sys., Inc., 236 F.3d 1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 2001)). A debt under the FDCPA is “any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes ….” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5). The Rosenthal Act similarly defines “consumer debt” as debt incurred to acquire property, services, or money “primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.” Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788.2(e)-(f). Plaintiff has failed to plead that the Renewed Judgment relates to a consumer debt covered by the FDCPA and Rosenthal Act. He includes no information about the debt at issue. Including the word “consumer” in his “class action” FDCPA claim does not cure this failure.4 Defendant’s motion to dismiss the First, Second, and Third Causes of Action is GRANTED