Johnson v. Enhanced Recovery Co., LLC, No. 19-1210 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Johnson filed a putative class action against ERC, alleging that it sent her a misleading collection letter in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692‐1692p. The district court certified a class composed of all individuals in Indiana who had received a collection letter like Johnson’s from ERC in 2016-2017. The court later entered summary judgment for ERC.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Johnson failed to present any evidence beyond her own opinion that ERC’s letter was misleading,
Johnson focused primarily on the sentence, “This letter serves as notification that your delinquent account may be reported to the national credit bureaus.” According to Johnson, “may be reported” implied future reporting, and by the time she received the letter her debt had already been reported. She also singled out a sentence stating, “Payment of the offered settlement amount will stop collection activity on this matter” as constituting a promise by ERC that if she took advantage of the first settlement offer and paid by May 26, then ERC would not report her debt to the national credit bureaus. Because Johnson chose instead to rely solely on her “speculation” to support her claim, summary judgment for ERC was appropriate.