The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets forth rules for the collection of consumer debts by third-pary debt collectors. The complaint for this class action claims that Sequium Asset Solutions, LLC violated the FDCPA because the use of the word “immediately” twice in the initial communication letter allegedly overshadows the allowance of a thirty-day period to dispute the debt.
The FDCPA requires that certain information be conveyed to consumers either in the initial communication with them or within five days thereafter. These include things like the amount of the debt and the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed. One of these things is the right of the consumer to dispute the debt or any part of it within thirty days of receiving the communication.
The law specifies that the letter or notice must include “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 a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.”
The FDCPA also requires that any additional information not “overshadow” or contradict the required statements about the rights of consumers.
The letter in question, attached to the complaint as Exhibit 1, contains these two sentences: “Our records indicate that this account has not been resolved and balance stated above is due immediately” and “If you cannot take advantage of the Family Assistance Program or if you are unable to pay the balance immediately please contact our office.”
Because both of these statements contain the word “immediately,” pressing for urgency, the complaint claims that they overshadow the right to the thirty-day dispute period.
The class for this action is