Misleading or Confusing Debt Collection Letter
Plaintiff Jennifer Mizrahi allegedly owes a debt for care received at Maimonides Medical Center, but when Computer Credit, Inc. attempted to collect that debt, the complaint for this class action claims that its communications with Mizrahi were confusing enough to violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Among the information to be included in a debt collection letter is (1) the fact that the consumer can dispute the debt within the next thirty days, and (2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed. This information must be stated clearly enough that an unsophisticated consumer can understand it, and it must not be overshadowed or contradicted by other statements or information. The complaint claims that the information is not clearly stated and/or is overshadowed by other statements in the letter.
Plaintiff David Dees allegedly owes a debt for an electric bill, and, according to the complaint for this class action, Transworld Systems, Inc. attempted to collect it using a misleading and deceptive letter, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). First, the complaint alleges that the heading could have two different meanings—that the account may already be credit reported or that it may be reported in the future. Second, the threat to report the debt to credit agencies after the validation period is deceptive, the complaint claims, because Transworld had already reported the debt to credit agencies and no behavior on the part of the recipient could have prevented the action.
Plaintiff Sky Shadow is alleged to owe $1,878.90 in a debt originating with Chase Bank USA, but when Midland Credit Management (MCM) tried to collect that debt, the complaint for this class action alleges, it did so in ways that violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as well as California’s Rosenthal Act. The letter offered various payment plans and admitted that the debt was time-barred and she could not be sued for it; but what it did not say was that if Shadow made even a single, partial payment on the debt, it might revive the statute of limitations and allow MCM to sue her again for the full amount.
Plaintiff Michelle Vullings was sent a debt collection letter that the complaint for this class action claims violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in two different ways. The envelope in which the debt collection letter was mailed to Vullings bears the company’s name, which the complaint alleges strongly implies that the company is in the debt collection business and thereby violates her privacy. Also, the letter enclosed in the envelope gives the impression that Vullings can simply call if she wants to dispute the amount owed, whereas the FDCPA requires that the consumer must dispute the debts in writing, and must do so within thirty days.