PRA III, LLC v Mac Dowell

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[*1] PRA III, LLC v Mac Dowell 2007 NY Slip Op 50990(U) [15 Misc 3d 1135(A)] Decided on March 16, 2007 Civil Court Of The City Of New York, Richmond County Straniere, J. Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on March 16, 2007
Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County

PRA III, LLC, Plaintiff(s)/, Petitioner(s),

against

Julia Mac Dowell, Defendant(s)/, Respondent(s).



40841/2004

Philip S. Straniere, J.

The plaintiff moves for summary judgment against the defendant and defendant opposes said motion. Both sides are represented by counsel.

Upon a review of all the papers on this motion, the Court finds the moving plaintiff, PRA III, LLC is attempting to collect a credit card debt it purchased from Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC which purchased a debt from Sears National Bank. Attached to plaintiff's reply affirmation is an "affidavit of ownership and sale of claim" from the James L. Keown, the senior vice president of Portfolio Recoveries Associates and PRA III which states Sears National Bank sold this debt to plaintiff. This conclusory affidavit fails to demonstrate any evidence of consideration paid or delivery of the assignment. It should be noted that plaintiff's complaint omits the first assignment of the debt to Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC.

Entities such as plaintiff which purchase defaulted debt and collect the debt for themselves are debt collectors. (See Centurion Capital Corporation a/a/a Aspire Card v. Druce, 14 Misc 3d 564 (2006)). In Centurion the court held that the plaintiff was a debt collection agency under New York City Administrative Code 20-489(a). The fact that it has purchased the debt does not change the requirement that it be licensed only the originator of the debt is excluded from the statute. [*2]

Debt collection agencies must be licensed (See NYCAC 20-490). A plaintiff that is required to be licensed must specifically plead the licensing information in the complaint. (See CPLR §3015(e)). The plaintiff in this case simply states in its complaint that plaintiff "is a Corporation licensed to do business in New York" which does not fulfill the requirements under CPLR §3015(e).

Furthermore, the plaintiff has not attached the original agreement to its moving papers but attaches numerous "Sears Itemization Report" and an affidavit from Elaine F. Lark, a legal specialist of the plaintiff. Ms. Lark is not an employee of the original creditor (Sears) and cannot authenticate documents from another business. This affidavit is also conclusory and fails to establish a prima facie case.

The plaintiff has failed to make out a prima facie case. The motion for summary judgment is hereby denied.

The foregoing shall constitute the Decision and Order of the Court.

Dated: March 16, 2007

Staten Island, NYPHILIP S. STRANIERE

Judge, Civil Court