The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is meant to protect consumers from abuses and unfair tactics used by third-party debt collectors for consumer debt. The complaint for this class action alleges that Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. violated this law in send a debt collection letter to a consumer for money she claims she did not owe.
The class for this action is all consumers to whom Convergent sent a collection letter substantially and materially similar to the one sent to the plaintiff in this case, where the date of the letter was between October 3, 2018 and the present.
Plaintiff Aja A. Fennell allegedly owed a debt incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. At some point, this alleged debt was assigned to Convergent for collection.
Convergent sent Fennell a collection letter dated October 5, 2018. This was the initial communication from Convergent to Fennell about the debt. A copy of it was attached to the complaint when it was filed.
The FDCPA requires that a third-party debt collector like Convergent must provide consumer debtors with certain information, either in the initial communication about the debt or within five days thereafter. Among the things that debt collectors must tell debtors is the amount of the debt and the creditor to whom the debt is owed.
The letter from Convergent claimed that Fennell owed $2,243.63. However, the complaint says, Fennell does not owe this amount or anything at all to the entity named in the letter. Also, the letter claimed that the debt was owed to Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC. The complaint says that company did not offer to extend credit to Fennell, nor did Fennell ever enter into any transaction with the company. Fennell, the complaint says, does not owe this debt to this party.
According to the complaint, these statements violate the law in various ways. First, it says, they violate the specific requirements for accurate information, including the amount of the debt and the creditor to whom the debt is owed.
Second, they violate the general requirement that debt collectors “may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of the debt.” The claims that Fennell owed over $2,000, and that the creditor was Jefferson Capital Systems, were false representations, the complaint says.
The law also prohibits the false representation of the character, amount, or legal status of any debt, which the complaint claims also applies in this case.