In Jacques v. Solomon & Solomon P.C., — F.Supp.2d —-, 2012 WL 3581172 (D.Del. 2012), Judge Andrews addressed a debt collector’s obligation to validate a debt both before and after a debtor’s dispute of the dispute.
As to the first three allegations, each of which relate to the validity of the debt and whether Northland had the authority to attempt to collect it, the Complaint fails to state a claim against Northland. Northland had no obligation to verify the debt. Once a consumer disputes a debt, the debt collector has a choice whether to verify the debt or cease collection efforts. 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(b); see Guerrero v. RJM Acquisitions, LLC, 499 F.3d 926, 940 (9th Cir.2007) (stating that “[n]othing in [§ 1692g(b) ] suggests an independent obligation to verify a disputed debt where the collector abandons all collection activity with respect to the consumer”); Jang v. A.M. Miller & Assocs., 122 F.3d 480, 482 (7th Cir.1997) (“When a collection agency cannot verify a debt, the statute allows the debt collector to cease all collection activities at that point without incurring any liability for the mistake.”); Smith v. Transworld Sys., Inc., 953 F.2d 1025, 1031 (6th Cir.1992) (holding that debt collector did not violate the FDCPA when it ceased collection activity after receiving request for validation); F.T.C. Staff Opinion Letter, 1997 WL 33791232 (Dec. 23, 1997) (“There is nothing in the FDCPA that requires a response to a written dispute if the debt collector chooses to abandon its collection effort with respect to the debt at issue.”); F.T.C. Staff Opinion Letter, 1992 WL 12144210 (Mar. 3, 1992) (“In the event the collector decides not to pursue the collection efforts, there is no requirement to furnish the documentation of the indebtedness to the consumer.”). Thus, Northland had no obligation to verify the debt so long as it ceased collection efforts after Plaintiff disputed the debt. ¶ Plaintiff does not allege that Northland continued collection efforts after she disputed the debt. Rather, she asserts that Northland’s attempt to collect the debt was improper because Capital One and other prior debt collectors had failed to validate the debt. (D.I. 31 at 8, ¶ H). Plaintiff does not allege that Northland had actual knowledge of the prior disputes with Capital One and other debt collectors but instead seeks to impute their knowledge to Northland. The FDCPA does not impose upon a debt collector any duty to investigate independently the validity of the debt. See Slanina v. United Recovery Sys., LP, 2011 WL 5008367, at *3 (M.D.Pa. Oct.20, 2011) (“The FDCPA did not require [the debt collector] to validate the debt prior to its initial contact with [the consumer].”); Yentin v. Michaels, Louis & Assocs., Inc., 2011 WL 4104675, at *9 (E.D.Pa. Sept.15, 2011) (concluding that no provision of the FDCPA “impos[es] upon a debt collector any duty to ‘investigate’ debts that it seeks to collect—either before collection activities begin or after a consumer disputes a debt”); see also Clark v. Capital Credit & Collection Servs., Inc., 460 F.3d 1162, 1174 (9th Cir.2006) (“[T]he FDCPA did not impose upon [the debt collector] any duty to investigate independently the claims presented by [the creditor].”). Furthermore, “[c]ourts do not impute to debt collectors other information that may be in creditors’ files—for example, that debt has been paid or was bogus to start with.” Randolph v. IMBS, Inc., 368 F.3d 726, 729 (7th Cir.2004). Capital One’s knowledge that Plaintiff had previously disputed the debt with other debt collectors, therefore, is not imputed to Northland. Accordingly, Northland did not violate the FDCPA by attempting to collect the debt when it had previously been disputed to Capital One and other debt collectors. ¶ Plaintiff also claims that Northland violated the FDCPA by failing to prove that it had a contract with Capital One to collect the debt. Plaintiff does not cite any provision in the FDCPA that requires a collection agency to prove that it had a contract with the creditor, and the Court is likewise unable to identify one. Even if the FDCPA required a debt collector to prove that it had authority from the creditor to collect an alleged debt, Plaintiff here has conceded that Capital One placed the account with Northland. (D.I. 31 at 4, ¶ 25). There is no dispute that Capital One placed the account with Northland for collection. Thus, the complaint fails to state a claim that Northland violated the FDCPA by failing to prove it had authority from Capital One to collect the alleged debt.