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LTD Financial Services Current Creditor FDCPA Wisconsin Class Action

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One of the important pieces of information that a consumer debtor is entitled to is the name of the current owner of the debt. So says the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). However, the complaint for this class action claims that a debt collection letter sent by LTD Financial Services, LP does not provide this information.

The class for this action is

  • All natural persons in Wisconsin
  • Who were sent an initial collection letter in the form of Exhibit A in this case,
  • Mailed between June 26, 2017 and June 26, 2018, and
  • Not returned by the postal service,
  • Which seeks to collect a debt for personal, family, or household purposes,
  • Purported to be owed to Blaze Credit Card.

Both the federal FDCPA and the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA) seek to provide debt collection protections to consumers. The intent of the laws is twofold: to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices, and to ensure that companies that use them do not have an advantage over those who do not.

In this case, plaintiff Mary Hepfner allegedly incurred a consumer debt via a Blaze Credit Card for personal, family, or household purposes.

On or about August 22, 2017, LTD sent her a debt collection letter, which is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A.

The FDCPA requires that debt collectors provide certain information to consumers at the initial contact with them or within five days thereafter. One of the required pieces of information is the name of the current owner of the debt.

The LTD letter says that the “Creditor” is “Blaze Credit Card,” but the complaint claims that this is not true. According to the complaint, the current owner of the debt is First National Bank, which issued the credit card for Blaze.

The complaint cites another problem with the collection letter. The letter makes two settlement offers, both of which have expiration dates of September 12, 2017. The complaint claims that the expiration dates are false and that LTD would be prepared to accept either one even beyond the expiration date. The complaint says that this instills a false sense of urgency in the consumer and makes the letter false and misleading.

The complaint notes that the Seventh Circuit has come up with “safe harbor” language that debt collectors can use that both avoids the false use of an expiration date and indicates that the settlement offers may not be available forever: “We are not obligated to renew this offer.” However, LTD has chosen not to use this language.

The complaint claims that the company has violated both the FDCPA and the WCA.

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