Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Letter Case Over Lack of Disclosure of Interest Rate, Other Fees

A District Court judge in New York has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued by a collection agency for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it did not include the interest rate and details about other fees in a collection letter so that the plaintiff could determine the current balance on any given date on her own, without the help of the defendant.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Shevchuk v. Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC can be accessed by clicking here.

The defendant sent the plaintiff a collection letter, which referenced a “Total Account Balance” of $5,938 and included the following statement:

Synchrony Bank may continue to add interest and fees as provided in your agreement. If you pay the balance shown above, an additional payment may be necessary to pay your account balance in full. Because of interest, late charges, or charges that may vary from day to day, the amount due on the day you pay may differ.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated Sections 1692g(a)(1) and 1692e of the FDCPA, because by not including information about the interest rate and any charges that could cause the balance to increase, the letter failed to inform her what she would need to pay to resolve the debt at any given moment.

Collectors are not required under the FDCPA to provide all the details and the equation that an individual would need to determine how much is owed at any point after a letter is received. By complying with the requirement under Avila v. Riexinger & Associates that the letter disclose that a balance may increase due to interest and fees, the defendant had done all it needed to do, ruled Judge Pamela Chen of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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