In Simpson v. Safeguard Properties, LLC, 2014 WL 4652336 (N.D.Ill. 2014), Judge Gotschall certified the following class under the FDCPA:
Beginning in October 2012 and ending in February 2013, at the instruction of Midland, representatives of Safeguard left door hangers on Simpson’s door on an approximately monthly basis. ( Id. ¶¶ 18–23.) These door hangers all contained the same text. The front side reads: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION ENCLOSED.” The reverse side contains the phrases “please call,” “please be ready to give your account number,” and “we are expecting your call today.” The reverse side also contains lines for the date, a name, and a telephone number. ( Id. ¶ 24.) On all of the door hangers left at Simpson’s home, Safeguard’s representatives wrote the telephone number issued to Midland, and “Customer Service” or “Mid.” in the “name” field. ( Id. ¶ 28.) Simpson alleges that Safeguard’s representatives did not identify themselves as representatives of Safeguard, and that she only learned of Safeguard when she complained about its activities to Midland.
The District Court found the class numerous and ascertainable:
In support of her assertion that the class members are so numerous as to render joinder impracticable, Simpson points to a Safeguard executive’s statements that Safeguard performed 10,908 “contact-attempt inspections” in Illinois on behalf of Midland. Simpson concedes that this does not necessarily mean that 10,908 door hangers were left on 10,908 separate residences—in short, it does not mean that there are 10,908 class members. But Simpson argues that even if each of the 10,908 contact-attempt inspections were not for 10,908 separate residences, the numerosity requirement is still met. She relies on the assumption that 10,908 contact attempts still represent a class of at least 40 persons, because to assume otherwise would presume an “absurd” number of inspections per class member. Safeguard argues, however, that because the door hangers can be used either in debt-collection activities or to determine occupancy, the 10,908 figure is not a reliable indicator of the number of unique individuals (as opposed to abandoned properties) that received door hangers. The court finds Safeguard’s argument unconvincing. A class of only 40 has been found to satisfy the numerosity requirement. Swanson, 415 F.2d at 1333 n.9. Even if, as is likely, the number of individuals who received door hangers is less than 10,908, Safeguard has not offered any evidence that the number of individuals (as opposed to abandoned properties) who received door hangers is not high enough to satisfy numerosity. The 10,908 hangers establish that at least some of those involved debt-collection activities. Safeguard has offered no reason for the court to believe that all but 40 (or fewer) of those door hangers were left on abandoned properties. The court can safely assume that the number of individuals who received door hangers satisfies the numerosity requirement, even if the actual number falls short of 10,908. The failure to provide a precise number does not prevent Simpson from satisfying the numerosity requirement. See Short Term Loans, 2002 WL 127303, at *13. According to Safeguard executives, Safeguard’s inspectors take pictures of all door hangers left at a property and retain records of whether contact with an individual was established, so this information could likely be established through discovery and a more precise number could be obtained. Safeguard further argues that the 10,908 door hangers do not establish that a large number of individuals received door hangers because some of the door hangers are left on abandoned properties. However, the FDCPA requires only a debt collector to send notice; actual receipt is not required. See Krawczyk v. Centurion Capital Corp., No. 06–C–6273, 2009 WL 395458 at *12 (N.D.Ill. Feb. 18, 2009). For these reasons, Simpson’s proposed class meets the numerosity requirement.