The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is aimed at preventing the use of abusive methods or false information in the collection of debts. The complaint for this class action claims that Frontline Asset Strategies, LLC and JH Portfolio Debt Equities, LLC have violated this law in the initial debt collection letter sent to plaintiff Andre Boggerty, which informed him that he could only dispute the debt in writing.
The class for this action is
Boggerty allegedly incurred a debt to Citibank, NA, for funds borrowed for personal, family, or household purposes. At some point, the complaint says, either Citibank or JH requested that Frontline collect the debt.
On or about March 14, 2018, the complaint claims, Frontline sent Boggerty a collection letter, which is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A. This letter, the complaint says, was the initial contact between Frontline and Boggerty.
Under the FDCPA, within five days of an initial contact with a consumer, a debt collector must provide certain information to the consumer. This includes notice of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or any portion of it, within thirty days after receipt of the notice. If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing of the dispute of the debt, the debt collector must obtain verification of the debt or a copy of the judgment; and if the consumer so requests in writing, the debt collector must give the consumer the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
However, the complaint says that the letter requires that any dispute of the debt must be in writing in order to be effective. This, the complaint says, is not true; although notice in writing is required for certain purposes, the simple dispute of the debt can be made by any means available.
This makes the letter deceptive and misleading, the complaint claims, because it does not correctly inform Boggerty of his rights and responsibilities under the FDCPA.
The complaint claims that the letter violates the FDCPA in two respects. First, it made a “false and misleading representation” in the letter, which is prohibited by the law. Second, it did not provide accurate information of Boggerty’s rights, as specifically required by the law, when it informed him that he could only dispute the debt in writing.