Simon v. FIA Card Servs., NA, No. 12-3293 (3d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The Simons filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, identifying a nonpriority credit-card debt to FIA. FIA retained Weinstein, which sent the Simons a letter and notice through their bankruptcy counsel, stating that FIA was an adversary proceeding under 11 U.S.C. 523 to challenge dischargeability, but offering to forego the proceeding if the Simons stipulated that the debt was nondischargeable or agreed to a reduced amount. The letter stated that a Rule 2004 examination had been scheduled, but that Weinstein was open to settlement; it mentioned the possibility of rescheduling and set out information about challenging the debt. The subpoena certificate, signed by a Weinstein attorney, stated that a copy was mailed to the Simons’ home and their attorney’s office. The Simons allege that Weinstein did not actually send it to their home. Their counsel received copies. The Simons moved to quash, alleging violations of Bankruptcy Rule 9016 and Civil Rule 45 subpoena requirements, and filed an adversary proceeding asserting Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims based on the letter. The Bankruptcy Court quashed the notices, but ruled that it lacked jurisdiction over the FDCPA claims. The Simons then sued FIA and Weinstein in the district court, which dismissed. The Third Circuit affirmed dismissal of 15 U.S.C 1692e(5) and (13) claims for allegedly failing to identify the recording method in the Rule 2004 examination and by issuing the subpoenas from a district other than where the examinations were to be held. The court also affirmed dismissal of a 1692e(11) claim because its mini-Miranda requirement conflicts with the Bankruptcy Code automatic stay. The court reversed dismissal of claims based failing to serve the subpoenas directly on the individuals and failing to include the text of Civil Rule 45(c)–(d) in the subpoenas.