A District Court judge in New Jersey has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by allegedly misrepresenting that the balance of a debt may increase when in fact it was static.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Soto v. Law Office of Faloni & Associates can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a collection letter that stated the amount of the debt was $772.21 and “subject to change pursuant to state or federal law.” The plaintiff filed a class-action complaint, alleging the letter violated Section 1692e and 1692f of the FDCPA, which prohibits the use of misleading or deceptive representations when collecting debts and prohibits the use of improper means to collect a debt to which the debt collector is not legally entitled.
A least sophisticated consumer might be led to believe the amount of the debt could increase, based on the language used the letter, according to the plaintiff, which Judge Susan Wigenton of the District Court for the District of New Jersey was sufficient to “sustain his claim that the language of the Letter was misleading and/or improper under §§ 1692e and 1692f.”
Judge Wigenton did note in her denial of the motion to dismiss that the parties disagree about the state of the debt when the letter was sent, and it remained “to be seen whether the facts will ultimately support Plaintiff’s allegation.”