It only took 10 days after going into effect, but it appears as though one of the first lawsuits referencing Regulation F has been filed against a company in the accounts receivable management industry. The complaint, which was filed on December 10, accuses the company of not adhering “to the requirements” of the rule by sending a text message to an individual without “additional noticed information to be disclosed to the Plaintiff supplementing the requirements” of Section 1692g of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The plaintiff filed a complaint after receiving two text messages that were allegedly sent by the defendant. The first text message was sent on November 3, 2021 and the second was sent on December 6. Regulation F went into effect on November 30. The content of the first message, according to the complaint, said, “This notice is from Wakefield & Assoc a debt collection agency. Reach us by phone at 866-470-0171. Reply YES for info or STOP to end.” The content of the second text message, again according to the complaint, said, “This is an important notification from Wakefield & Assoc a debt collector. Dial 866-470-0171. Reply YES for info or STOP to end.”
While the defendant identified itself as a debt collector, the complaint alleges the defendant violated Section 1692e(11) of the FDCPA by failing to state that the collector was attempting to collect on a debt and that any information obtained would be used for that purpose. The plaintiff also accused the defendant of violating Section 1692g of the FDCPA by not communicating more details about the debt — such as the right to dispute it — within five days of making the initial communication. “Moreover,” the complaint alleges, “the December 6 text failed to adhere to the requirements of Regulation F enacted on November 30, 2021 requiring additional noticed information to be disclosed to the Plaintiff supplementing the requirements in 15 U.S.C. § 1692g.”