In Neal v. Am. Educ. Servs., No. 2:18-cv-01784-KJN (PS), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66584 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2019), Magistrate Judge Newman granted summary judgment against an FDCPA Plaintiff.
Plaintiff argues that defendant is a debt collector because defendant “claim[s] to be in service of this [*13] debt.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 7.) However, this is not the appropriate legal standard for defining a debt collector under the FDCPA. “Significantly, the FDCPA’s definition of debt collector exempts ‘any person collecting or attempting to collect any debt owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another to the extent such activity . . . (iii) concerns a debt which was not in default at the time it was obtained by such person.'” De Dios v. Int’l Realty & Investments, 641 F.3d 1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 2011) (emphasis in original) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6)(F)(iii)). Accordingly, “student loan servicers that begin servicing prior to default are not debt collectors under the FDCPA.” Haysbert v. Navient Sols., Inc., No. CV 15-4144 PSG (EX), 2016 WL 890297, at *11 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2016); see also Brumberger v. Sallie Mae Servicing Corp., 84 F. App’x 458, 459 (5th Cir. 2004) (“By its plain terms the FDCPA does not apply to Sallie Mae because Brumberger does not allege that he was in default at the time Sallie Mae began servicing his loans”). It is undisputed that defendant became the loan servicer of plaintiff’s student loan promissory note on or about December 28, 2012, after the note was rehabilitated and no longer in default. (Hoch Decl. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff has not adduced even a scintilla of evidence to establish that his loan was in default when defendant began servicing it. Indeed, plaintiff has completely ignored this issue in both [*14] his complaint and opposition to defendant’s motion. Therefore, defendant is not a debt collector under the FDCPA, as to plaintiff’s September 18, 2002 note. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6)(F)(iii); De Dios, 641 F.3d at 1074.