A District Court judge in New York has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a case in which it was accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by not adequately identifying the creditor in a collection letter, even though it included references to the “Client Name:” and “Original Creditor:” in the letter.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Williams v. Waypoint Resource Group can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant in relation to an unpaid debt. The letter included “Client Name: Verizon” and “Original Creditor: Verizon” in a box at the top of the letter. Subsequently, the letter starts: “This notice regarding your account with Verizon is being sent to you by Waypoint Resource Group. Verizon has placed your account with us for collections.”
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated 1692g(a)(2) of the FDCPA because there are 91 different entities registered in New York that begin with the name “Verizon” and the letter was not specific enough, thus confusing a least sophisticated consumer “as to which of the 91 disparate entities to whom the debt is owed.”
But Judge Allyne Ross of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, ruled that additional information was not needed to correctly identify the creditor in question.
In applying the precedent from Goldstein v. Diversified Adjustment Services, Inc., Judge Ross ruled that “[e]ven the least sophisticated consumer could recognize the entities with who[m] they have conducted business.”
The letter here explicitly states that plaintiff’s Verizon account has been placed with defendant for collections. The least sophisticated consumer, even one who held multiple Verizon accounts, could figure out from this letter to which Verizon entity it was indebted.