In Iou Cent., Inc. v. Shore Appliance Connection Inc., No. 1:20-cv-2367-MLB, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50674 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 18, 2021), Judge Brown found the FDCPA’s venue provision inapplicable to a dispute because the transaction was commercial and not consumer.
Shore Defendants argue the applicable statute is the venue provision in [*6] the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”): 15 U.S.C. § 1692i. (Dkt. 8 at 10.) That is not correct. By its terms, § 1692i applies only to a “legal action on a debt against any consumer.” See § 1692i(a). And the “FDCPA limits its reach to those obligations to pay arising from consensual transactions, where parties negotiate or contract for consumer-related goods or services.” Hawthorne v. Mac Adjustment, Inc., 140 F.3d 1367, 1371 (11th Cir. 1998) (quoting Bass v. Stolper, Koritzinsky, Brewster & Neider, S.C., 111 F.3d 1322, 1326 (7th Cir. 1997)). Legislative history confirms this reading of the statute: the Senate Report on the FDCPA expressly defines the scope of the Act as applying “only to debts contracted by consumers for personal, family, or household purposes; it has no application to the collection of commercial accounts.” Consumer Credit Protection Act, S. Rep. No. 95-382 (1977), reprinted in 1977 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1695 (emphasis added). Here, the loan agreement is a commercial transaction, not a consumer transaction. The promissory note itself provides that the loan is “for business and commercial purposes and not for any agricultural, personal, family[,] or household purpose.” (Dkt. 22-1 at 1.) The FDCPA is wholly inapplicable. See, e.g., Downing v. IOU Cent., Inc., No. 1:19-cv-929, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135495, 2019 WL 3502915, at *8 (N.D. Ga. May 29, 2019) (holding FDCPA inapplicable to commercial loan), report and recommendation adopted by 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 241764, 2020 WL 7409660 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 25, 2020).