In Lenzini v. DCM Servs., LLC, No. 4:20-cv-07612-YGR, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100007 (N.D. Cal. May 26, 2021), Judge Gonzalez Rogers dismissed an FDCPA claim.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Lenzini avers that the letter fails to satisfy the FDCPA where the letter (1) does not specifically use any modifying language to denote that Capitol One is the current creditor, and (2) refers to Kohl’s as a client in the text of the letter renders the letter confusing despite the identification of Capitol One as both the “creditor” and “original creditor.” Neither ground persuades. First, the FDCPA does not require specific language to convey the current creditor to a consumer. Indeed, courts that have considered similar language used in such letters have found that it adequately conveys the “creditor” under the FDCPA—even at the motion to dismiss stage. See Cunningham v. Transworld Sys., Inc., No. 1:20-cv-01364-JRS-DLP, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 224407, 2020 WL 7047076, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 1, 2020) (“Without any modifier, ‘creditor’ here logically must refer to the present creditor. Grammatical construction dictates as much.”); id. (“Common sense, if not the process of elimination, dictates, then, that Orion Portfolio Services II LLC’s designated status as “Creditor” means the current creditor.” 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 224407, [WL] at *2); see also Schuerkamp v. Afni, Inc., No. 10-6282-HO, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133025, 2011 WL 5825969, at *3 (D. Or. Nov. 16, 2011) (D. Ore. 2011) (granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment, where the letter did not violate Section 1692g(a)(2) where asserted “Creditor” in a table heading, without either “original” or “current” as a modifier). As noted, common sense here would similarly suggest that Capitol One is the current creditor when the letter is read as a whole, where the letter further identifies Capitol One as the original creditor. Thus, the Court similarly concludes that the language of DCM’s letter satisfies the requirements of the FDCPA. Second, the reference to Kohl’s as a client does not render the identification of Capitol One as a creditor inadequate under the FDCPA. Lenzini does not allege or explain how one passing reference to Kohl’s as a client of DCM manufactures confusion over the specific identification of Capitol One as both a creditor and original creditor of the subject debt. Indeed, the letter does not identify Kohl’s as an entity willing to accept payment, nor is Kohl’s identified as seeking payment on the subject debt. Other courts have rejected similar arguments at the motion to dismiss stage when considering situations where a letter references another entity or client. See Haynes v. Allied Interstate, LLC, No. 4:14CV3130, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12781, 2015 WL 429800, at *3-4 (D. Neb. Feb. 2, 2015) (granting motion to dismiss and rejecting the reference to client as creating confusion, noting that while defendant “might have further explained the relationship . . . the FDCPA did not require debt collector to do so in the collection letter”); Dokes v. LTD Fin. Servs., L.P., 328 F. Supp. 3d 1270, 1285-86 (N.D. Ala. 2018) (holding that the letter’s explicit identification of JH Portfolio as the current creditor without any explanation as to the relationship between the entities is sufficient.). The reference to Kohl’s in DCM’s letter is therefore not confusing, nor does it render the identification of Capitol One as a creditor inadequate under the FDCPA.4 Thus, the motion to dismiss is appropriately and alternatively Granted on this ground. The FDCPA claim is therefore appropriately Dismissed with Prejudice. Given that subject matter jurisdiction is premised on federal question jurisdiction based on the FDCPA, which is now dismissed, the Rosenthal Act claim is appropriately Dismissed Without Prejudice.