In McQueen v. American Exp. Centurion Bank, 2012 WL 5301075 (N.D.Cal. 2012), Judge James dismissed a Plaintiff’s FDCPA claim on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion because the defendant was a creditor, exempt from the FDCPA.
The FDCPA defines “creditor” as “any person who offers or extends credit creating a debt or to whom a debt is owed.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(4). The FDCPA defines a “debt collector” as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). A debt collector does not include the consumer’s creditors or an assignee of a debt, as long as the debt was not in default at the time it was assigned. Perry v. Stewart Title Co., 756 F.2d 1197, 1208 (5th Cir.1985); see also Schlegel, 799 F.Supp.2d at 1104–05 (finding that a bank was a creditor rather than a debt collector because it was still servicing the debt and therefore had motivation to maintain an on-going relationship of “honesty and respect” with the consumer). Here, it is clear that Defendant was collecting a debt owed to itself. See RJN, Ex. 1. Thus, it appears that Defendant is not a debt collector under the FDCPA. In her Opposition, Plaintiff argues that Defendant was not collecting its own debt because her monthly account statement said only “American Express,” but Zwicker & Associates represented “American Express Centurion Bank.” Pl.’s Opp’n at 5. However, the logo on Defendant’s statement is not determinative—affiliated companies and subsidiaries fall within the definition of collecting your own debt. See, e.g., Frame v. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis, 2006 WL 1348176, at *2 (N.D.Ohio May 12, 2006) (“As a matter of law, the FDCPA does not apply to credi-tors, their employees or officers, or their affiliates”); KPMG Peat Marwick v. Tex. Commerce Bank, 976 F.Supp. 623, 632 (S.D.Tex.1997) (“Any claim re-garding TCB’s conduct on its own behalf is precluded by the statutory definition of ‘debt collector,’ which excludes ‘any officer or employee of a creditor while, in the name of the creditor, collecting debts for such creditor,’ as well as ‘any person while acting as a debt collector for another person, both of whom are related by common ownership or affiliated by corpo-rate control, if the person acting as a debt collector does so only for persons to whom it is so related or affiliated and if the principal business of such person is not the collection of debts’ ”). Moreover, the state court has already determined that Defendant is enti-tled to judgment against Plaintiff for the debt in-curred. RJN, Ex. 3. Accordingly, this argument is without merit.