Judge Grants MSJ For Defendant in FDCPA Case Over Verification Documents

Is there a double standard when it comes to comparing what collectors need to show when suing a consumer for an unpaid debt and what they need to show when that consumer disputes a debt? Possibly, but that is not the grounds for a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit, according to a District Court judge in New York, who has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Sandoval v. Credit Corp Solutions d/b/a Tasman Credit and Kirschenbaum & Phillips can be accessed by clicking here.

There was a lot of back and forth between the plaintiff and the defendants, in which the plaintiff disputed the debt multiple times, and was provided documentation, including the loan agreement, loan summary, borrower membership agreement, terms of use, Truth in Lending disclosure, and a spreadsheet detailing the amount borrowed and the application of payments, interest, and charges applied to the account. But it wasn’t exactly what the plaintiff requested when he disputed the debt. One of the defendants filed a collection lawsuit against the plaintiff, and the plaintiff subsequently filed his own suit, alleging the defendants violated Sections 1692e and 1692f of the FDCPA for not dismissing the suit filed against the plaintiff after failing to provide the original documentation associated with the debt in question.

While the Second Circuit Court of Appeals may not have expressly laid out what collectors need to provide when a request for verification has been submitted, providing a written statement that the amount being demanded is what the creditor claims is owed is usually sufficient, noted Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

“Although plaintiff asserts that the FDCPA should require a creditor to ‘provide to a consumer the same level of documentation of the debt which would be necessary to prevail in litigation to collect the debt,’ plaintiff does not cite to any authority and the court is unaware of any, entitling debtors the right under the FDCPA to demand specific types of documents from creditors when seeking validation of a debt,” Judge Matsumoto wrote.

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