The complaint for this class action takes issue with a series of debt collection letters from Transworld Systems, Inc. that it says violate both the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPA) and the Wisconsin Consumer Act (WCA). At issue are confusing or misleading statements about the amount of the debt, the length of time the settlement offer is available, and whether the settlement would constitute full payment of the debt.
The class for this action is
The situation described in this complaint began when plaintiff Jennifer Torres allegedly incurred medical bills, for personal, family, or household purposes, owed to a party identified as “Physicians of OB-GYN.”
At some point, the debt was referred to Transworld Systems for collection. Transworld eventually sent five debt collection letters to Torres. The first four were dated March 23, April 6, April 20, and May 18, 2017. These letters are attached to the complaint as Exhibits A, B, C, and D, respectively. Each of these letters said that the balance of the debt was $851.46.
The fifth letter, sent on September 11, 2017 and attached to the complaint as Exhibit E, was different. To begin with, it said the balance was $862.52, and it cites a “Creditor’s Account #” that is slightly different from the “Acct. #” in the other letters. The complaint says that, with these discrepancies, “it is impossible to determine whether Exhibit E is attempting to collect the same debt as Exhibits A-D.”
Also, the fifth letter contains a settlement offer: “You can pay the above account in 6 equal consecutive monthly payments of $143.74.” But the complaint notes that this would total $862.44, which is slightly less than the total of $862.52. According to the complaint, “it is impossible to determine” whether the debt would then be reported as “paid in full” if Torres took advantage of this settlement.
Finally, the letter says, “This offer may expire without notice.” The complaint claims that this is untrue and that the offer would be good at any time. It says that the only reason the letter says this is to push the consumer to pay the debt as soon as possible.
According to the complaint, then, the letter is confusing and misleading, and therefore violates both the FDCPA and WCA.