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Class-Action Suit Alleges Agency Violated FDCPA By Charging Service Fee for Card Payments

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a collection agency for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by indicating in a collection letter than a service charge would be applied to any payments made via a credit card.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Angeles v. FirstCredit Inc. can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant in regards to an unpaid medical debt. Along with pointing out that payments made by electronic checks, checks, and money orders are free, the letter mentioned that payments made via a credit card would incur a service charge of $3.50. The letter also included a statement, in bold, that payment by credit card was not mandatory. In all of the instances where the letter mentioned the methods of payment where a fee would not be charged, it did so by putting the word “free” in bold and underlined text.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letter violated the FDCPA by attempting to collect an amount not owed and by misleading the plaintiff into “the belief she falsely owed an additional $3.50 when this charge is a violation of the FDCPA,” according to the complaint.

In filing the class action, the plaintiff is seeking to include any individuals within the state of Ohio who received a collection letter from the plaintiff that imposed an additional service fee for payments made by a credit card.

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