Etro v. Blitt & Gaines, P.C., No. 15-1820 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs each purportedly owed a debt; each creditor filed suit in Cook County seeking to collect on that debt. After each plaintiff failed to appear, a Cook County Circuit Court entered a default judgment. B&G, a debt collector, filed an affidavit for a wage deduction in the First Municipal District in downtown Chicago and obtained a summons against Plaintiffs’ respective employers. Plaintiffs allege it was this final act that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) venue provision, 15 U.S.C. 1692i(a)(2), because B&G should have filed the affidavits in the Sixth Municipal District in Markham, Illinois (the municipal district closest to Plaintiffs) and not in the First Municipal District. The Cook County Circuit Court’s Municipal Department has been sub‐divided into six smaller units called municipal districts. B&G moved to dismiss on the basis that B&G’s filing of an affidavit for a wage deduction did not constitute a “legal action” against a “consumer” within the meaning of the FDCPA. The district courts agreed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that such actions are not against the consumer.