Agency Wins Summary Judgment in FDCPA Case

A collection agency has won a summary judgment motion in a case filed by a plaintiff alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because the plaintiff’s claim that his identity was stolen was potentially improbable and just because the defendant said in a collection letter that the amount owed may include interest and fees is factually inaccurate.

A copy of the ruling in Patton v. Financial Business and Consumer Solutions, Inc., can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff originally obtained a credit card with Orchard Bank. Orchard Bank was acquired by Capital One. Both Orchard Bank and Capital One mailed statements to the plaintiff’s home for nearly three years. The account became delinquent — in the amount of $503.27 — and the account was subsequently sold off to Midland Funding. Midland placed the account with the defendant for collections.

The defendant sent a collection letter to the plaintiff, stating that he owed $503.27. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated the FDCPA.

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged the defendant violated the FDCPA’s statute of violations, as well as sections 1692(e) — making a false or deceptive representation — and 1692(f) — using unfair means to collect on a debt.

The timing of the letters proved that everything was done within the statute of limitations, according to the judge. The judge also ruled including the language “may include interest and fees” in a collection letter does not rise to the standard of a 1692(e) violation and because the amount that the defendant was seeking to collect was exactly the amount that was owed, a 1692(f) violation was not committed, either.


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