United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
L.C. FELDMAN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are two motions: (1) Receivable Recovery Services,
LLC's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) or
12(b)(6) or, alternatively, for summary judgment; and (2)
Saul Reed's cross motion for summary judgment. For the
reasons that follow, the defendant's motion is DENIED in
part (insofar as it seeks dismissal for lack of standing) and
GRANTED in part (insofar as it seeks summary judgment
dismissing the plaintiff's claims) and the
plaintiff's cross motion is DENIED.
litigation arises out of allegedly deceptive and abusive debt
collection practices used by a third party collector in its
effort to recover a debt owed by the plaintiff to an
ambulance service provider.
Saul Reed was transported by Acadian Ambulance Service in
August 2015 to a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, he
incurred a bill for $1, 556.53. He has never paid Acadian,
which engaged Receivable Recovery Services, LLC (RRS) on
January 27, 2016 to collect the outstanding debt. On January
27, 2016, RRS mailed to Mr. Reed a written notice, which
explained Mr. Reed's rights under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692g. Mr. Reed
failed to dispute liability for any part of the debt within
three occasions (February 17 and 19 and March 7, 2016),
different RRS collectors spoke briefly with Mr. Reed. The
February 17 and March 7 calls were recorded. Mr. Reed targets
the February 17 call as the source of RRS's abusive
conduct. A portion of the transcript reads as follows:
Mr. Reed: Hello.
RRS: Hi, can I speak with Saul Reed?
Mr. Reed: Yes ma'am...
RRS: Hi, it's Ernestine Gill with Receivable Recovery
Services. I'm calling...
Mr. Reed: Come again?
RRS: This is Receivable Recovery Services. We have an account
from Acadian Ambulance...um...that they placed here for
collections. Has a balance of $1, 556.53.
Mr. Reed: For what?
RRS: We're just trying to call you to work out
arrangements to get it taken care of. Um...I do have to tell
you that this is an attempt to collect a debt by a debt
collector. Any information obtained will be used for that
purpose. Um... Just let me know how you want to get it taken
Mr. Reed: I hear you but I ain't knowing what you're
RRS: This is regarding your account for Acadian Ambulance.
Mr. Reed: [unintelligible single syllable response]
RRS: They have a balance that they want to get paid....
Mr. Reed: Well, ma'am, I'm not working at the moment
RRS: How long have you been...
Mr. Reed: [unintelligible single syllable response]
RRS: How long have you been out of work?
Mr. Reed: [unintelligible mumbling]...Since I come home from
RRS: I'm sorry.
Mr. Reed: I had just got released from jail.
RRS: Okay. So how long have you been out of work?
Mr. Reed: Years...
Mr. Reed: Two...
RRS: Two years. So how are you paying your bills?
Mr. Reed: Maybe three...I don't know...
RRS: So how are you paying your other bills-your living
Mr. Reed: How am I what? Payin' my other bills?
RRS: Right, right. How are you paying your bills? I mean the
rent, you know, electric bill, the food bill, the...you know,
just your basic living expenses? How are those being paid?
Mr. Reed: Ummm...definitely getting' help with that...
RRS: Uh-hum... Who's helping you?
Mr. Reed: But I don't think that nobody goin' to help
me with no...um, nothing bills... especially for
nothing...$1500 for what? I didn't get any medicine...I
don't recall nothing...I don't.
RRS: This was an ambulance ride. The ambulance picked you up
Mr. Reed: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, so ma'am
there's nothing I can do. Nothin' right at this
RRS: Are you refusing to pay the debt? Cause you owe the
debt. You need to do something to pay these guys back....They
were there when you needed ‘em
Mr. Reed: I...I...
RRS: and they helped you when you needed them, so you need to
do something. Do the right thing. And try to pay these people
back for what they did for you.
Mr. Reed: [chuckling]
RRS: At this point, you can laugh it off but it's not a
Mr. Reed: [continued chuckling] 1, 500?
Mr. Reed: [laughing]...You serious? Right...15?...That sound
reasonable to you? I'm asking...but...
RRS: That sounds very reasonable. Do you know how expensive
an ambulance is? How expensive it is to train an EMT? How
expensive the medicines in an ambulance are? Just you
stepping inside that ambulance is a good $2, 000, so you got
a deal. They cut you a break on this. You know. But you need
to do something to pay these people back... So and it's
gonna' hit your credit. It's going to affect your
credit, so it is not a joking matter. It's something that
you need to take seriously. And you need to do something to
get it resolved. So I'm going to go ahead on and list it.
At this point, it is listed as a refusal to pay, but we will
pursue other options and it will get paid one way or another.
So we're here to try to work with you voluntarily, but if
you think it's a laughing matter, I'm here to tell
you that it's not.
Mr. Reed: ...That's not even the point. First off...
RRS: What do you mean?
Mr. Reed: Second off..
RRS: Sir, I have no idea what you are talking about...
Mr. Reed: Don't worry about it...[hangs up]
the recording failed for the February 19 call, Lorena Hooker,
the RRS collector who initiated the call with Mr. Reed that
day, summarizes the exchange by her affidavit in the summary
On February 19, 2016, at approximately 11:43 AM, and while at
work at RRS in my capacity as a collector, I spoke by
telephone with an individual who identified himself as Mr.
Saul Reed. I began our conversation by providing Mr. Reed my
name, and the name of my employer, RRS, followed by the
“Mini-Miranda” warning required by the [Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act] (“This communication is from
a debt collector and any information obtained will be used
for that purpose.”) I advised him that I was calling in
an attempt to collect the $1, 556.53 debt which he owed to
Acadian Ambulance Service.
Mr. Reed did not dispute liability for all or any part of his
debt during our brief conversation, which lasted less than
I asked Mr. Reed whether he was able to pay anything. He
seemed unconcerned and replied that he had no money and that
there was nothing he could do. He stated that he had no
income and had been out of work for some time. At that point,
he apparently hung up on me ...