United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAYNE BLATT, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CAPITAL ONE AUTO FINANCE, INC., Defendant.
H. SHARP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment.
Defendant Capital One Auto Finance, Inc. (“COAF”)
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff Wayne
Blatt's (“Blatt”) claims under the Electronic
Fund Transfer Act. (Docket No. 30). Plaintiff Wayne Blatt
(“Blatt”) filed a Response in Opposition and
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Docket No. 38).
COAF then filed a Reply. (Docket No. 39). For the reasons
stated below, the Court will grant COAF's Motion for
Summary Judgment and will deny Blatt's Partial for
about March 18, 2014, Blatt purchased a vehicle from Ford
Lincoln of Cookeville. (Docket No. 32 at 1). Blatt financed
this vehicle through the execution of a Retail Installment
Sale Contract (“RISC”). The RISC was then
assigned to COAF. Id. After Blatt failed to make his
first payment on time, he called COAF on May 6, 2014. During
that May 6, 2014 phone call, Blatt (1) authorized COAF to
make a one-time withdrawal from his checking account to cover
his missed payment; and (2) requested that he be enrolled in
DirectPay-COAF's monthly automatic payment system.
Id. To complete Blatt's second request, he was
transferred to the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system,
where Blatt input his loan account number as well as the last
four digits of his Social Security Number. Id. at 2.
After Blatt did this, the following messaged played:
Please listen to the entire DirectPay Authorization message
before giving your enrollment authorization. If you hang up,
DirectPay will not be authorized for your account. For your
loan number <LoanAcctID>, you authorize Capital One to
electronically debit a payment of <Amt> from your
<(checking/savings)> account with routing number
<AbaNum> and account number <BankAcctID>.
Payments will be monthly on the <date> of each month.
The first payment will debit on or after <Date>. Your
payments will continue until the total amount due is paid or
you ask us to stop or change your enrollment. If you wish to
change or cancel DirectPay, call us at 800-946-0332. Once you
are enrolled in DirectPay, we will no longer send you a
monthly statement. If we do not receive the payment for any
reason, including insufficient funds, you are responsible for
sending a payment and we may charge a returned payment fee.
If you are delinquent, or become delinquent, DirectPay may
not bring your account current, and collection calls, late
fees and credit bureau impact may result.
To authorize the enrollment of your account in DirectPay,
press 1. To hear this information again, press 2. If you wish
to make changes or speak with a customer service agent, press
0. To cancel, press *.
hearing this message, Blatt pressed “1” on his
phone. On May 7, 2014, COAF mailed Blatt a letter confirming
the one-time debit from his checking account to make his
missed payment. On May 8, 2014, COAF mailed Blatt a letter
confirming his enrollment in DirectPay. Id. The May
8, 2014 letter contained the following information: the
amount of the payments to COAF, the recurring schedule of the
payments, the date on which the first withdrawal would take
place, the date on which Blatt agreed to the terms via the
IVR system, and information on how to cancel or change his
DirectPay enrollment. (Docket No. 32, Ex. C).
now claims that COAF violated the Electronic Funds Transfer
Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C. § 1693 et seq, in the
course of enrolling Blatt in DirectPay. The EFTA governs
proper authorization of electronic fund transfers. 15 U.S.C.
§ 1693. Blatt claims that COAF violated the EFTA in two
specific ways: (1) COAF did not obtain his authorization to
the recurring payments in writing, as the EFTA requires; and
(2) the May 8, 2014 letter COAF mailed to Blatt was
insufficient to meet the EFTA's requirement that COAF
mail a copy of the authorization to him. (Docket No. 1 at
judgment is proper if “there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact [such that] the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). But
“summary judgment will not lie if the . . . evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In considering a motion
for summary judgment, the court must construe the evidence in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The movant therefore has the burden
of establishing that there is no genuine issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986); Barnhart v. Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling
Co., 12 F.3d 1382, 1388-89 (6th Cir.1993). But the
non-moving party “may not rely merely on allegations or
denials in its own pleading.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2).
See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Searcy v. City of
Dayton, 38 F.3d 282, 286 (6th Cir. 1994). The non-moving
party must present “significant probative
evidence” to show that there is more than “some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Moore
v. Philip Morris Co., 8 F.3d 335, 339-40 (6th Cir.1993).
standard of review for cross-motions of summary judgment does
not differ from the standard applied when a motion is filed
by only one party to the litigation. Taft Broad. Co. v.
U.S., 929 F.2d 240, 248 (6th Cir.1991).
The fact that both parties have moved for summary judgment
does not mean that the court must grant judgment as a matter
of law for one side or the other; summary judgment in favor
of either party is not proper if disputes remain as to
material facts . . . [.] Rather, the court must evaluate each
party's motion on its own merits, taking care in each