The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) tries to prevent abusive or misleading practices by third-party debt collectors who collect debts from consumers. The complaint for this class action says that Dynamic Recovery Solutions, LLC does not provide adequate information about disputing debts in its collection letters and even discourages consumers from disputing the debts.
The class for this action is all natural persons who were sent a letter substantially in the form represented by Exhibit A, the letter at issue in this case, during the statutory period covered by the complaint.
The case arose from a debt allegedly owed by Vladimir Zavinskiy to CACH, LLC, incurred as a credit card debt with Bank of America, NA, for personal, family, or household purposes.
At some point, the debt was assigned to Dynamic for collection. Dynamic sent Zavinskiy a letter dated July 5, 2018.
Zavinskiy read the letter, but did not believe that the amount of the debt was correct. He wanted to dispute the debt.
The FDCPA requires that debt collectors provide certain information to consumers, either at the initial contact with the consumer or within five days after it. One of the pieces of information required is called a validation notice, which notifies consumers that they may dispute the debt or any part of it within thirty days of the receipt of the letter.
However, consumers’ full rights are only preserved if they make the dispute in writing. The letter from Dynamic did not say anything about the dispute being in writing. The complaint says that this is a violation of the FDCPA.
Also, the complaint says that Dynamic discourages consumers from disputing the debt in writing.
How does it do that? The letter offered several options for settling the debt. It then provided a Customer Service number in a large bold font. Immediately below that number is the validation notice that does not specify that the dispute should be in writing.
The complaint quotes earlier court findings when it states that “this statement, when construed with the earlier sentence inviting the consumer to call Defendant creates a ‘reasonable probability that the least sophisticated debtor … would be induced to overlook his statutory right to dispute the debt.’”
Also, the complaint says, “[a] consumer reading this language could reasonably believe that a phone call would be sufficient to preclude Defendant from assuming the debt to be valid.” The company has therefore not met the requirements of the FDCPA, it says.