Appeals Court Upholds Lower Court Win For Defendant in FDCPA Letter Case

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has issued a non-precedntial opinion upholding a summary judgment ruling from a lower court in favor of a defendant who was being sued for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

A copy of the ruling in Daniels v. Solomon & Solomon can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff had filed suit after receiving a collection letter from the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violation Sections 1692e(3), 1692e(5), and 1692e(10) by implying that an attorney was involved in reviewing the account and that a legal action had been threatened. The letter read:

Dear Latasha Daniels:

Please be advised that your account with Solomon and Solomon P.C. still remains unpaid, and has been reported to the national credit bureaus. You should act now to resolve this problem!

This is urgent, please remit payment for balance in full today so that we can make appropriate updates to your credit report.

You can contact us by phone at 1-877-803-1942, e-mail at [email protected]. Or make payment on our website at

This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This communication is from a debt collector. Calls are randomly monitored, and may be recorded to ensure quality service.

The letter was unsigned.

The name of the defendant, especially when placed in the upper right-hand portion of the letter, is enough to confuse an unsophisticated debtor into thinking that a law firm authored it, the plaintiff alleged. As well, by encouraging her to “act now to resolve the problem” the letter was threatening legal action. The Appeals Court wasn’t buying what the plaintiff was trying to sell.

The statement “act now to resolve this problem” is little more than a statement urging Daniels to resolve an outstanding debt. It neither explicitly nor implicitly threatens legal action. Moreover, the letter is devoid of legal jargon and, other than the possible inference arising from the firm’s name in the heading, makes no reference to legal action whatsoever.


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