A District Court judge in Washington has granted a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after it was sued in a class action for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it allegedly did not reference the name of the creditor to whom the debt was owed in four collection letters.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Adams v. Skagit Bonded Collectors, d/b/a SB&C, can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received four collection letters from the defendant. Each letter indicated that the plaintiff’s accounts had been assigned to the defendant’s office for collection and identified the “original creditor” as Skagit Regional Health. The letters included a unique account number and said that no payment had been received.
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the letters violated Section 1692g(a)(2) of the FDCPA because they did not clearly indicate “the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.” The plaintiff also accused the defendant of violating Section 1692e of the FDCPA by making false, deceptive, or misleading misrepresentations in attempting to collect on a debt.
Noting that the FDCPA does not require a collector to use any specific terminology to identify the creditor, Judge Thomas Zilly of the District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle Division, ruled that using the word “original” in the letters did not rise to the level of an FDCPA violation.
There was only one creditor listed in the letters and even a least sophisticated consumer would not be “confused about the identity” of the creditor to whom the debt was owed, Judge Zilly wrote in granting the defendant’s motion.