First Class-Action Suit, post-Hunstein, Filed in N.Y. Federal Court

Well that didn’t take long. Less than a day after the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, a class-action lawsuit has been filed in New York federal court accusing a debt collector of violating Section 1692c(b) and 1692f of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by communicating with a third party — a letter vendor — about the existence of a debt when it sent the plaintiff’s personal information to the vendor to be included in and mailed out as a collection letter.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Colamarino v. Balanced Healthcare Receivables can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff allegedly received a letter — dated April 7, 2021 — from the defendant seeking to recover a debt that the plaintiff claims she did not owe. “Rather than preparing and mailing such written correspondence to Plaintiff on its own, Defendant decided to utilize a third-party vendor to perform such activities on its behalf,” according to the complaint. The defendant conveyed the plaintiff’s status as a debtor, the precise amount of the alleged debt, the entity to which the plaintiff allegedly owed the debt, and that the debt was related to a medical treatment for the plaintiff.

The plaintiff never consented to the communication between the defendant and its letter vendor, which amounted to a violation of Section 1692c(b) of the FDCPA, according to the complaint. The complaint also alleges that the unauthorized disclosure of the plaintiff’s private and sensitive information is unfair and unconscionable under Section 1692f of the FDCPA.

Because the plaintiff claims she did not owe the debt in question, the complaint also accuses the defendant of violating Section 1692g of the FDCPA by not accurately stating the actual amount of the debt that was owed.

The complaint seeks to include any consumer who received a written communication from the defendant where the consumer’s information was sent to a third-party without obtaining the consumer’s consent to do so.

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