One of the purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is to ensure that debtors are not confused by the information in debt collection letters. The complaint for this class action claims that the debt collection letter sent out by the Law Offices of Robert J. Colclough, III have violated this provision in not making clear who the current creditor is or to whom the debt must be paid.
The class for this action is
Plaintiff Shaleese Smith allegedly incurred a debt to Premier Auto Credit. The complaint says that Allied Collection Services of California, LLC is the subsequent owner of the debt, and that Allied assigned Colclough to collect the debt.
Under the FDCPA, within five days of an initial communication about a debt, a debt collector must supply the consumer with certain information about the debt and the consumer’s rights. This is referred to as the g-notice. One of these things is “the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.” The consumer can also request to be provided with the name of the original creditor, if it is different from the current creditor.
On or around June 15, 2017, Colclough sent Smith the debt collection letter at issue in this case, which is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A. The complaint claims that it fails to fulfill the requirements of the FDCPA because it does not explicitly state the original or current creditor. The letter does state, “RE: Case No. 991271-1 Premier Auto Credit” but it later says that payments should be made to the Allied Collection Services of California website. While a consumer might recognize the name of Premier Auto Credit, it is then unclear why payments should be sent to another party.
The complaint makes a further allegation about the letter. “Additionally, the letter contains credit reporting and legal threats that act to overshadow the ‘g-notice’ language as it threatens the consumer in an attempt to make them pay and not dispute the debt.”