On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted a creditor’s motion for summary judgment in an action brought pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

In Reyes, Jr. v. Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, the plaintiff leased a new sedan through the defendant.  As part of the transaction, the plaintiff executed a lease contract wherein he agreed to make monthly payments of $650 for thirty-six months, and expressly consented to receive telephone calls from the defendant.  The plaintiff subsequently defaulted on his lease obligations, and the defendant thereafter began telephoning him in an effort to collect an unpaid debt.  The plaintiff then filed suit, alleging violations of both the TCPA and FDCPA, and seeking damages in the amount of $720,000.  Defendant subsequently moved for summary judgment. 

First, with respect to the plaintiff’s FDCPA claim, the defendant argued that the statute was inapplicable because the defendant is a creditor, not a debt collector.  The plaintiff did not dispute the defendant’s argument, and the Court deemed the claimed abandoned. 

Second, the parties agreed that the plaintiff provided his express consent to be contacted by the defendant under the terms of the lease, but they disputed whether or not the plaintiff subsequently revoked that consent.  Finding that the plaintiff presented insufficient evidence of revocation, the Court concluded: “Put simply, Plaintiff entered into a contract with [the defendant] that provided for the very contact that he now seeks to challenge.”  The Court ultimately granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety.