In Taylor v. Alltran Financial, LP, 2018 WL 4403335, at *3–4 (S.D.Ind., 2018), the District Court certified an FDCPA class over the Defendant’s objection that some of the debts might be commercial debts.
Here, Defendants’ argument that the proposed class could contain individuals who received commercial or business loans, and who would therefore be ineligible under the FDCPA, makes no sense. Even were Defendants correct in their assertions that the proposed class is overbroad (and they are not), the appropriate course of action would be to craft a class definition so as to exclude ineligible individuals who owed debts for commercial or business purposes. But there is no such problem in this case because the proposed class consists only of persons “from whom Defendants attempted to collect a defaulted consumer debt.” [Filing No. 32 at 4 (emphasis added).] Perhaps Defendants are sidetracked by the FDCPA’s isolated definitions of the terms “consumer” and “debt.” See 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3)-(4). But the relevant term—“consumer debt”—is not defined in the FDCPA, and both the common and legal definitions of consumer debt are restricted to “debt incurred by an individual for a personal, family, or household purpose.” Debt, Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014); see, e.g., Merriam-Webster, Consumer Debt, (Aug. 18, 2018), https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consumer%20debt (defining consumer debt as “a debt from buying something at a store”). Defendants specifically represented, in their discovery response, that there were 218 individuals who “fall within the class definition alleged in the Complaint,” [Filing No. 42-1 at 3]—meaning that these individuals received the same letter sent to Mr. Taylor to collect on a consumer debt. Defendants may neither ignore the plain meaning of the term consumer debt nor disavow this discovery response in an effort to muddle up an otherwise straightforward class of individuals who had debts arising from loans for a “personal, family, or household purpose.” In sum, the proposed class, as currently defined, clearly excludes individuals with business or commercial loans, obviating the concern expressed by Defendants. Having dispatched with Defendants’ sole, unavailing argument, the Court finds that Mr. Taylor meets both the commonality and typicality requirements. There are common issues of both fact and law as to the class, as the sole issue presented is whether the form letters received by the class members violates the FDCPA by ineffectively identifying the current creditor. Mr. Taylor’s claim is typical of the class claims, inasmuch as Defendants’ discovery response demonstrates that the class all received the same, allegedly-deficient form dunning letters. Mr. Taylor has satisfied Rule 23(a)(2) and (3).