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Dryden v. Accredited Collection Agency, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 10, 2015

KAREN DRYDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
ACCREDITED COLLECTION AGENCY, INC. et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES R. SPENCER, Senior District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion and Memoranda in Support of Entry of Default Judgment and Attorney Fees ("Motion") (ECF No. 16). Defendants, Accredited Collection Agency, Inc. ("ACA") and Jeff Winters ("Winters"), have not responded to this Motion nor any prior motion filed in this matter, and the deadline to respond has passed. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. BACKGROUND

a. Factual Background

All of the following facts are drawn from Plaintiff's Complaint, as Defendants have not responded to the Complaint. In approximately November 2012, Plaintiff Karen Dryden ("Dryden" or "Plaintiff") was contacted by the named Defendants in an attempt to collect a consumer debt she allegedly owed. Defendants began calling Dryden at her place of employment. On December 5, 2012, Dryden's employer advised Defendants that such calls to Dryden were prohibited under the company's policies. Defendants, however, continued to call Dryden at her place of employment, occasionally screaming at her in their efforts to extract payment.

Unable to stop Defendants' calls her to place of employment, Dryden obtained counsel with Centennial Law Offices. On February 8, 2013, staff from Centennial Law Offices contacted Defendants and advised them that Dryden was represented by counsel. On April 1, 2013, staff from Centennial Law Offices contacted Defendants a second time to obtain information on the debt Dryden allegedly owed. Defendants were provided with contact information for Dryden's counsel.

On April 9, 2013, Defendants left a voicemail for Dryden on her work number, the content of which is substantially as follows:

This is Daisy King calling from ACA Recovery. When you get the message would you please give me a call XXX-XXX-XXXX. Your reference number is 99GHSJ and I will try for your cellular. Thank you.

On October 7, 2013, Defendants left a voicemail for Dryden on her work number, the content of which is substantially as follows:

This is an important message for Karen Dryden. My name is Gary James. I'm calling from the company known as ACA Recovery now United Credit Specialist. I'm calling in reference to Mypayday Loan. Okay, there's a balance here $132.50. According to what I'm looking here, you already paid nearly all the way off, okay. Please return my call okay. Let's discuss this. Like I said, my name is Gary James. My number is 800-356-3713. And when you call, it's very important that you refer to reference ID number 99GHSJ. Thank you very much.

Additionally, Defendants added $50.00 in "fees" to the principle amount Dryden allegedly owed on the debt.

b. Procedural Background

On April 14, 2014[1], Plaintiff filed her Complaint against six named Defendants[2] alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). On October 2, 2014, the Clerk entered a Notice of Abatement (ECF No. 5), which gave Plaintiff fifteen days to show the Court good cause why the defendants had not been served within 120 days of the filing of the Complaint. On October 15, 2014, two summonses were returned executed on ACA, who was served on June 5, 2014, and Winters, who was served on June 17, 2014. Subsequently, default was requested as to ACA and Winters on October 21, 2014 (ECF Nos. 8, 9) and was entered against both defendants on October 30, 2014 (ECF Nos. 10, 11).

On November 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 12), which was dismissed by this Court sua sponte for failure to comply with Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff subsequently sought leave to file an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 14), but that request ...


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