A District Court judge in Wisconsin has granted a motion to dismiss after a collection agency was accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using the phrase “Amount Due Now” in a collection letter.
A copy of the ruling in Mollberg v. Advanced Call Center Technologies, Inc. can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant that listed a “Total Account Balance” of $1,113.00 as well as the “Amount Due Now” of $234.00. The “Amount Due Now” represented a past due balance of $160.00 and a current monthly payment of $74. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated Section 1692g of the FDCPA by including the current installment in the amount that was past due and by confusing the least sophisticated consumer with the use of “Amount Due Now.”
Unswayed by the cases listed by the plaintiff in trying to support her argument that including the current payment in the past due amount was an FDCPA violation, the judge look at several other cases from within the Seventh Circuit and concluded there “is simply no rule that a debt collector must separate the monthly installment from the amount past due.”
The plaintiff also tried to say that using the words “Amount Due Now” violated Sections 1692e(10) and 1692f of the FDCPA, by confusing or misleading a debtor. But the judge ruled that any consumer who confuses “now due” as being the same as “past due” is “interpreting it in a bizarre, idiosyncratic fashion inconsistent with the unsophisticated consumer standard.”