The Retail Merchants Association, Inc. acts as a debt collector, doing business under the name of the Credit Bureau of Louisiana (CBL). When CBL sent a letter dated August 1, 2016 to plaintiff Jacob Overby, the complaint for this class action says, CBL misrepresented itself, thereby violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The class for this action is all persons from whom CBL attempted to collect a delinquent consumer debt, allegedly owed for medical services, using the same form collection letter sent to Overby, from July 31, 2017 to the present.
According to the complaint, the letter was an attempt to collect a debt CBL claimed Overby owed for medical services and it contained these words: “ALL UNPAID ACCOUNT INFORMATION IS ROUTINELY SUBMITTED TO THE CREDIT BUREAU OF LOUISIANA, WHERE IT IS RECORDED AND REPORTED TO ANY AND ALL INQUIRING CREDIT GRANTORS.”
These words, the complaint argues, misrepresents the nature of CBL and makes it sound as if it’s a credit reporting agency. The credit reporting of unpaid debts may impair a consumer’s ability to get credit and therefore may influence a consumer’s decision as to how to respond.
The complaint therefore claims that CBL violated the FDCPA in two ways. First, it charges that CBL made a false, deceptive, or misleading statement, something that debt collectors are forbidden to do in attempting to collect a debt. Second, it claims that in making this statement CBL was engaging in unfair or conscionable collection actions. The complaint therefore asks for damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees for Overby and others to whom CBL has misrepresented itself.