The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD WHYTE, District Judge
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
Plaintiff Donald Johnson ("Johnson") has sued defendant AMO
Recoveries ("AMO") for violation of the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act ("the FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10). AMO moves for
judgment on the pleadings on Johnson's claims. Johnson opposes
the motion. The court has read the moving and responding papers
and considered the arguments of counsel. For the reasons set
forth below, the court grants AMO's motion.
This case concerns six letters that AMO allegedly sent to
Johnson concerning his Discover credit card debt of $3,821.35.
Johnson contends that he received the first letter from AMO on
July 14, 2004. Compl. ¶¶ 8-9. The letter, entitled "SETTLEMENT
OFFER," provides that "AMO Recoveries, duly authorized by
Discover Financial Services Inc., hereby offers to accept 60% as
settlement in full on the above mentioned account. This settlement offer shall be null and
void if not received by [sic]." Compl. ¶ 11; Ex. A. The letter
did not provide a date by when its offer would expire. Id. at ¶
According to Johnson, AMO sent him a second letter on August 2,
2004. Id. at ¶¶ 13-14. This letter, entitled "NOTICE," stated:
"You are hereby given notice to satisfy your outstanding balance.
If you cannot pay the full balance, please contact this office to
discuss payment arrangements with our collectors." Id. at ¶ 15.
Johnson claims that he received a third letter from AMO on
August 24, 2004. Id. at ¶ 17. The letter provided: "THE
INFORMATION ON THIS ACCOUNT COULD BE FORWARDED TO A CREDIT
BUREAU. THIS COULD BECOME PART OF YOUR CREDIT RECORD. THIS IS A
DEMAND FOR PAYMENT IN FULL. . . ." Id. at ¶¶ 17-18; Ex. C.
Johnson asserts that AMO sent him a fourth letter dated
September 2, 2004. Id. at ¶ 19. This letter, which bore the
header "SETTLEMENT OFFER," states that "AMO Recoveries, duly
authorized by Discover Financial Services, hereby offers to
accept 60% as settlement in full on the above mentioned account.
This settlement offer shall be null and void if not received by
09-20-04." Id. at ¶ 21; Ex. D.
Johnson alleges that he received a fifth letter entitled
"SETTLEMENT OFFER" from AMO dated September 14, 2004. Id. at ¶
24. The letter provided that "AMO Recoveries, duly authorized by
Discover Financial Services Inc., hereby offers to accept 50% as
settlement in full on the above mentioned account. This
settlement offer shall be null and void if not received by
[sic]." Id. at ¶ 24; Ex. D. The letter does not state by when
it must be accepted. Id.
Finally, Johnson asserts that AMO sent him a sixth letter dated
October 20, 2004. Id. at ¶ 27. The letter is captioned
"SETTLEMENT AUTHORIZATION" and "LIMITED OFFER." Id. at ¶ 28;
Ex. F. The letter states that "OUR CLIENT HAS AUTHORIZED US TO
SETTLE THIS ACCOUNT FOR A REDUCED AMOUNT. PLEASE CALL FOR
A. Standard For Judgment on the Pleadings
A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c) is a "means to challenge the sufficiency of
the complaint after an answer has been filed." New.Net, Inc. v.
Lavasoft, 356 F. Supp. 2d 1090, 1115 (C.D. Cal. 2004). A motion
for judgment on the pleadings is similar to a motion to dismiss. "For the purposes of the motion, the allegations of
the non-moving party must be accepted as true, while the
allegations of the moving party which have been denied are
assumed to be false. Judgment on the pleadings is proper when the
moving party clearly establishes on the face of the pleadings
that no material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that it
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Hal Roach Studios,
Inc. v. Richard Feiner and Co., Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th
The FDCPA forbids companies from resorting to duplicitous
tactics to collect debts:
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or
misleading representationor means in connection with
the collection of any debt. . . . [T]he following
conduct is a violation of this section. . . . [¶].
The use of any false representation or deceptive
means to collect any debt or to obtain information
concerning a consumer.
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10). Congress intended the FDCPA to "eliminate
abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure
that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt
collection practices are not completely disadvantaged, and to
promote consistent state action to protect consumers against debt
collection abuses." 15 U.S.C. § 1692. As the Ninth Circuit has
noted, Congress' primary concern was eradicating the use of
"threats of violence, telephone calls at unreasonable hours,
[and] misrepresentation of a consumer's legal rights." Romaine
v. Diversified Collection Services, Inc., 155, F.3d 1142, 1149