The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is meant to protect consumer debtors from false, misleading, and abusive practices in the attempts of third-party debt collectors to collect consumer debts. But how far does it go, when debt collectors communicate with other parties? The complaint alleges that Kohn Law Firm, SC engaged in abusive and deceptive practices and asserts, “Any person who receives a debt collection letter containing a violation of the FDCPA is a victim of abusive practices.
The debt in question was allegedly owed to TD Bank by Julian Rozani. It was allegedly incurred by him for personal, family, or household purposes. However, the letter Kohn mailed was not directed to him. It was sent to his parents, Bujar and Natasha Rozani. Dated May 9, 2019, it asked them to verify Rozani’s home address and employment. A copy of this letter was attached to the original complaint as Exhibit A.
The letter was sent from Kohn attorney Josie Qiu. It asked for the correct address, phone number, employer, and employer’s address for Rozani. The letter contained the statement, “Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and all information will be kept completely confidential.”
The complaint alleges that Kohn wanted the information for two purposes: “in order to determine whether [Rozani] was ‘collectible’ and a possible judgment on the debt could be collected through garnishment” and in order to determine “the location at which [Kohn] could serve process to [Rozani] for a small claims lawsuit.” In fact, on June 21 of that year, TD Bank did file a small claims lawsuit against Rozani in a Wisconsin court.
Despite the promise that “all information will be kept completely confidential,” the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access database provides the addresses of parties to lawsuits. The statement about keeping information confidential, the complaint says was “false, deceptive, misleading, and unfair. In fact, the primary purpose of obtaining [Rozani’s] residency information was so that Kohn could determine where [Rozani] resided in order to file a lawsuit against [Rozani], a process by which this information is necessarily disclosed.”
The complaint alleges that the representation that the information would be “kept completely confidential” would be material to whether the letter’s recipient would respond and/or provide the information.
The class for this action is