Judge Grants MTD in FDCPA Case Over Name of Current Creditor in Collection Letter

A District Court judge in Florida has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by not properly naming the current creditor to whom a debt is owed in a collection letter.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Reyes v. Webcollex, LLC can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant. The letter included a reference to the “Original Creditor: Mid America Bank and Trust – Matrix” at the top, along with other information intended to identify the account in question. In the body of the email, the letter stated, “This letter serves as notification to inform you that Oliphant Financial, LLC purchased your referenced Mid America Bank and Trust – Matrix account which has been placed with our office.”

The plaintiff alleged the letter violated Section 1692e(10) of the FDCPA by failing to identify the current creditor and violated Section 1692g(a)(2) of the FDCPA by “unfairly failing to advise Plaintiff [in the Letter] as to the identity of the current creditor to whom she owed the debt.”

Because the letter “clearly” identified the name of the original creditor at the top of the letter and then mentions that Oliphant purchased the account and that it had been placed with the defendant’s office for collections, a “the least sophisticated consumer is expected to understand that Oliphant is Plaintiff’s current creditor, given that it purchased Plaintiff’s account from her ‘Original Creditor,’ Mid America Bank,” wrote Judge John Steele, the Senior District Judge of the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division.

Allowing the plaintiff to file an amended complaint, Judge Steele said there was nothing in the letter that was confusing about the identity of the current creditor, and granted the motion to dismiss on both counts.

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