On December 17, a magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California granted judgment in favor of defendant debt collector Enhanced Recovery Company (“ERC”), thereby dismissing plaintiff Rene Ortiz’s pro se claims for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The ruling was based on Ortiz’s failure to provide “even a scintilla of evidence” demonstrating that his rights had been violated.
Ortiz’s claims date back to August 2016, when Ortiz alleged that he received a debt collection notice. Ortiz claimed that he disputed the debt in response. ERC had no record of receiving this dispute and presented a declaration in support. ERC sent a second notice, and admittedly received a dispute from Ortiz approximately two weeks later. In response to this dispute, ERC ceased collection activities and kept the account in investigatory status to prevent further collection activities. Eventually, ERC requested that the credit bureaus delete the account.
During discovery, ERC served requests for admission on Ortiz, which Ortiz never answered. The Court deemed these matters admitted, and ruled that these admissions alone supported granting judgment in ERC’s favor. Nonetheless, the Court, recognizing Ortiz’s pro se status, evaluated the entire evidentiary record and held that ERC had presented evidence demonstrating compliance with the FCRA and FDCPA, and Ortiz failed to contradict this evidence.
The Court entered an order recommending that judgment be entered in ERC’s favor. Ortiz had fourteen days from service of the order to file an objection. To date, no objection has been filed.