The Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCPA) requires that communications from debt collectors to consumer debtors be clear and not misleading or confusing. In this class action, the complaint alleges that LVNV Funding, LLC, Resurgent Capital Services, LP, and Resurgence Legal Group, PC (RLG) have filed paperwork for a court case that includes contradictory information and that these documents constitute “communications” under the FDCPA.
LVNV buys portfolios of consumer debts owned by creditors like banks and finance companies. According to the complaint, “at least 75 percent of LVNV’s revenue comes from collections ‘indirectly’ via lawsuits, credit reporting and collection letters, on defaulted consumer debts originated by others. Resurgent collects debts for LVNV and services them, and RLG assists with collection and apparently files lawsuits for Resurgent and LVNV.
In this case, plaintiff Talina Ruvalcaba allegedly incurred a debt for personal, family, or household purposes. It seems that the alleged debt was incurred with a Credit One Bank, NA consumer credit card. According to the complaint, it was assigned to a number of debt collectors before it was finally purchased by LVNV.
Resurgent and/or RLG seem to have taken over collection at that point. On behalf of LVNV, RLG filed a lawsuit against Ruvalcaba on May 1, 2019. The complaint and summons were served on her on June 4, 2019.
The complaint asks for “$1,625.10 plus court costs” from Ruvalcaba. The summons does not indicate that the company is seeking court costs. Also, a Credit Card or Debt Buyer Collection Action Affidavit attached to the complaint indicates that LVNV is not seeking costs, the complaint says, because where it asks whether “Plaintiff is seeking additional amounts after the charge-off date” the box is checked by “No.” The complaint asserts, “Court costs would be considered ‘additional amounts’ by any reasonable reading.”
The complaint quotes the FDCPA as saying that a “debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” It claims, “Defendants misrepresented the amount and legal status of an alleged debt … when they sued [Ruvalcaba] for court costs which LVNV had expressly waived.”
As it stood, Ruvalcaba could not be sure as to whether the companies were trying to collect court costs from her or not and therefore did not know how much she was being asked to pay.
The class for this action is