In Collectional Pros., Inc. v. McDonough Dist. Hosp., No. 4:22-cv-04078-SLD-JEH, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187320, at *8 (C.D. Ill. Oct. 13, 2022), Judge Darrow found no federal question in an FDCPA Plaintiff’s challenge to the propriety of a dunning letter that purported to follow Reg. F’s model form.
Though certainly a policy against abusive debt collection is important, the Court finds that the issue raised in this case is not substantial in the relevant sense. This case does not involve a nearly pure question of law; instead, it involves application of Regulation F to the facts of the case. CPI seeks a declaration that its initial contact letter complies with Regulation F, which would require the Court to review the letter and determine whether the letter provides, in a “clear and conspicuous” manner, 12 C.F.R. § 1006.34(d)(1), the required information about the debt, id. § 1006.34(c)(2); the required information about consumer protections, id. § 1006.34(c)(3); and the required consumer-response information, id. § 1006.34(c)(4). And it is not clear that this case involves any genuinely disputed interpretation of federal law. See Adventure Outdoors, Inc. v. Bloomberg, 552 F.3d 1290, 1300 (11th Cir. 2008) (finding that though the case involved an important federal issue (federal gun law), it was not substantial in the relevant sense where the court was “not persuaded that the meaning of the relevant federal law [wa]s unclear”). While the amended complaint hints at a dispute over whether Regulation F requires use of the model form, see Am. Compl. ¶ 27, it clearly does not. The phrase “safe harbor” indicates that use of the form is sufficient but not necessary for compliance. See 12 C.F.R. § 1006.34(d)(2). A debt collector may comply by using a different form so long as the required information is provided in a clear and conspicuous manner. Id. § 1006.34(d)(1). The real question in this case, then, is whether the initial contact letter did so. That will merely involve application of the relevant regulation to the facts of this case. And “the influence of federal law on the outcome of a contract . . . suit is not enough to support . . arising-under jurisdiction.”