Consumers have a right to dispute their debts within a certain period of time after receiving a debt collection letter. In fact, a notice of consumers’ rights of dispute is one of the things that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires to be provided to consumers. The complaint for this class action claims that Midland Credit Management, Inc. (MCM) refused to accept such a dispute from a consumer, and that it provided misleading information about the amount of the debt.
Two classes have been proposed for this action.
Plaintiff Yelena Pilosova allegedly owed a consumer debt to Synchrony Bank, which she incurred for personal purposes.
At some point, the complaint says, the debt was transferred to Midland Funding, LLC, which then assigned MCM to collect it. The debt collection letter sent to Pilosova by MCM on June 6, 2018 is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A.
The complaint claims that MCM has violated the FDCPA in two ways.
First, it claims that the letter shows a “Current Balance” for the debt. The phrase “current balance” implies that the balance is only correct at the current time and that it might increase at a later date. According to the complaint, if this is not correct, and the debt is no longer increasing, the letter should not imply this, as it implies that it would be more economical for the consumer to pay the debt sooner rather than later.
If the debt still is increasing, the complaint says, the letter must clearly inform the consumr of this. The fact that the letter simply implies that the amount is still increasing but does not make a clear statement either way, the complaint says, makes the letter confusing and misleading.
Second, the complaint says that when Pilosova received the letter, she called MCM in an attempt to dispute the debt, as she has a right to do. However, according to Pilosova, the representative she spoke to refused to accept the dispute. Instead, the person began to read off the transactions on the account.
Pilosova eventually asked to speak to a supervisor, but according to the complaint, the response was the same: The supervisor would not take the dispute, but insisted on discussing the debt; then she began questioning Pilosova about her credit history and personal life.
The complaint claims that both of these things are violations of the FDCPA.