ST. LOUIS - U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton of the Eastern District of Missouri has denied student loan provider Navient Solutions' motion to dismiss a lawsuit involving alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
Plaintiff Amanda Pfountz, who sued in 2017, alleges that Navient violated the FDCPA by leaving several voicemails on her cell phone and her mother's phone, attempting to collect on a loan that was already in default.
According to background in the ruling, Navient also had sent Pfountz a letter on Nov. 11, 2016 regarding her student loan account indicating that her loan "is now seriously past due and is in jeopardy of default."
The letter also stated consequences of default that would include having the defaulted loan assigned to Navient's recovery department or a collection agency. It indicated that Navient preferred to work with her to resolve the account, and it would declare the loan in default if acceptable arrangements were not made by Nov. 29, 2016.
Pfountz claims that her student loan was already deliquent and in default before it was acquired for debt collection.
She also states that after the Nov. 29, 2016 date, Navient left numerous messages that were debt collection attempts.
In a ruling filed Jan. 24, Hamilton found Pfountz's claims plausible.
"While Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint provides competing inferences as to when the debt was acquired by Defendant, the Court finds that, for purposes Defendant’s Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff has alleged a plausible claim that Defendant was a 'debt collector under FDCPA,...when it made the phone calls described in the First Amended Complaint and which Plaintiff alleges violated the FDCPA," Hamilton wrote.
"As such, the Court further finds that Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss should be denied."