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Nationwide Credit & Collection “Other Accounts” FDCPA Wisconsin Class Action

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Bill Stamped with Words "Past Due"

The complaint for this class action alleges that debt collection letter sent out by Nationwide Credit & Collection, Inc. (NCC) was truly confusing as to the total amount the consumer owed. It quoted an amount, but made vague reference to “other accounts” which may be owed. The lack of clarity, the complaint says, is a violation of both the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA).

The class for this action is

  • All natural persons in Wisconsin
  • Who were sent a collection letter in the form of Exhibit A of the complaint of this case,
  • Between June 26, 2017 and June 26, 2018,
  • And not returned by the postal service,
  • Which was seeking to collect a debt for personal, family, or household purposes, and
  • All the debts NCC was seeking to collect from that person were stated therein.

Plaintiff Cynthia Gross allegedly incurred a debt when she received medical services with Athletico Physical Therapy. The medical services were for personal, family, or household purposes. At some point, the alleged debt was assigned to NCC for collection.

NCC sent Gross a debt collection letter dated April 26, 2018. A copy of the letter is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A. The letter contains a number of statements that, when taken together, are confusing.

The “Amount Due” is stated as $55.45. The letter also states that Gross may pay her account online at a specific web address by the NCC File number assigned to her.

But it also contains this statement: “You may have additional accounts placed for collection with our agency. If you would like to discuss this matter with your account representative, we are available to assist you.” It says that Gross should call and refer to a certain “Guarantor Number.” And above the listing of the “Amount Due” are the words “May include other accounts not listed above.” Finally, the letter says, “Please note: For multiple accounts, payments are applied to the oldest accounts first when not specified.”

All of this is confusing to an average consumer, the complaint says, who would not know whether she has more than one debt, whether the $55.45 includes additional accounts, and whether any payment she makes will satisfy the $55.45 debt or whether it will be applied to some “oldest accounts” not specified in the letter.

The complaint claims that the letter is confusing and misleading, in violation of both the FDCPA and the WCA.

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