The complaint for this class action takes issue with the amount of debt and minimum payment due as set forth in a debt collection letter from Client Services, Inc., as well as other information. The law it cites is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The class for this action is all consumers to whom Client Services sent a collection letter substantially and materially similar to the letter sent to the plaintiff in this case, where the letter was sent between June 14, 2018 and the present.
The complaint first takes up the amount of the debt stated in the letter. In this case, the complaint says that the amount of the debt is increasing and that to comply with the law, the letter must note that it is increasing.
It must also “contain an explanation, understandable by the least sophisticated consumer, of any fees or interest that may cause the amount of the debt to increase.” Because the amount is increasing, and because it’s not clear when or in what amount the increases take place, it’s not clear as to what amount, paid at this moment in time or any other, would satisfy the debt.
Second, the letter cites a “minimum payment due.” However, the complaint says that the letter is confusing as to this amount on a number of counts. It does not say when this minimum payment is due. It doesn’t say how the amount might change if it is not paid by that time.
Also, the minimum amount due may be a percentage of the whole amount. If the whole amount of the debt is increasing, does that mean that the minimum amount due is also increasing? Or, once stated, does it remain constant?
Both these statements are open to more than one interpretation, at least one of which would be incorrect. The complaint says they are therefore misleading.
A further problem cited by the complaint concerns the fact that, while the consumer may dispute the debt, the consumer’s full rights are preserved only if the dispute is made in writing. Unfortunately, the collection letter contains two different addresses, neither of which are designated as the one to which the consumer should send a dispute.
In addition to all this, the complaint says that the notice that the consumer can dispute the debt is not clear and conspicuous because they are “buried within the body of the Letter.”