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Credit Control, LVNV Funding Incomplete Info on Stale Debt FDCPA Class Action

Figure Carrying Letters D-E-B-T on Its Back

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) attempts to protect consumer debtors by requiring that third-party debt collectors provide certain information. Some of that information concerns debts that are “stale” or “time-barred” so that the debtor can no longer be sued for them. The complaint for this class action brings suit against Credit Control, LLC and LVNV Funding, LLC, alleging that they did not properly notify consumers about the effect of payments on such stale debts.

In this case, plaintiff Kimberlee Rowley allegedly incurred a debt to Capital One, NA. for personal, family, or household purposes. 

Although Capital One was the original creditor, it seems that LVNV bought the alleged Capital One debt and Credit Control was assigned to collect it. Credit Control sent Rowley a letter dated January 25, 2019 in an attempt to collect. A copy of this letter was attached to the original complaint as Exhibit A.

The letter contains the following statement: “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, LVNV Funding LLC will not sue you for it, and LVNV Funding LLC will not report it to any credit reporting agency.”

The letter also contained some settlement offers and an invitation for Rowley to choose one and begin making monthly payments. What the letter did not say was that, if Rowley made even a single payment on the debt, it would revive the debt and LVNV would once again be able to sue her for it. The complaint says that “the Letter is deceptive in that it failed to inform [Rowley] of the true ramifications of making a payment.” This might have led her to “making a partial payment which would have had the consequence of restarting the statute of limitations.”

The complaint alleges that the letter thus violated the FDCPA which forbids debt collectors from using a false, deceptive, or misleading representation in connection with a debt. The complaint also claims that this amounts to using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt, something that the FDCPA also forbids.

The class for this action is

  • All individuals with addresses in Delaware
  • To whom Credit Control sent an initial collection letter trying to collect a consumer debt,
  • Between December 18, 2018 and January 8, 2020,
  • On behalf of LVNV
  • Containing settlement offers with monthly payments
  • Without a disclosure that even a partial payment would restart the statute of limitations.
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