The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) tries to ensure that consumer debtors receive fair treatment and get all the information they need to make informed decisions about their debts. The complaint for this class action alleges that Saldutti Law, LLC, doing business as Saldutti Law Group, sent out a letter to collect a consumer debt but did not inform the recipient of his right to dispute the debt. Also, the firm did not properly direct its communications to an attorney engaged by the plaintiff.
Third-party debt collectors who try to collect consumer debts must provide certain information to consumers either in their initial communication with them or within five days after the initial communication.
This information includes the consumer’s right to dispute the debt, or any part of it, within thirty days of receipt of the communication.
The complaint quotes two other requirements of the law:
“(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of the judgement against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
“(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.”
According to the complaint, when plaintiff Salomon Weiss received a collection letter from Saldutti, dated October 24, 2019, the letter did not contain any of this information about validation rights.
The alleged debt, to TD Bank, NA, was for a Rent N Talk, Inc. account. The complaint claims that the account was used primarily for personal purposes, but that the collection letter implied that it was a business debt.
Weiss faxed Saldutti a letter informing him that he was being represented by counsel, but received no reply to that letter. He then mailed a letter to the firm asking for verification of the debt and pointing out that his attorney had not been contacted by Saldutti. He did not receive any verification of the debt.
The firm continued to try to collect the debt, even filing a lawsuit against Weiss in November 2019.
Three New York state classes have been defined for this action. The classes involve (1) collection letters that did not provide notice of validation rights, (2) the ignoring of the consumer’s validation rights and the filing of a legal suit without noting that the debt was disputed, and (3) the insistence on continuing to try to communicate with a consumer after being informed that he was being represented by an attorney. To see further details on these classes, see pages 9 and 10 of the complaint, which is linked below.