Class-Action FDCPA Suit Filed Over Settlement Offer Language in Collection Letter

A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Florida against a collector for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because the discount offers that were included in a collection letter were vague and deceptive.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Edouard v. Unifin can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff received a collection letter from the defendant, attempting to collect on a debt of $633.46. The letter included a table offering:

  • 1 Payment of $253.38 towards a discounted offer
  • 3 Payments of $116.13 towards a discounted offer
  • 12 monthly payments towards the balance in full

The plaintiff claims the offer in the letter violates Sections 1692e(10) of the FDCPA by making a false and misleading representation because the one-time and three payment offer did not explain what the offer was and whether the “discounted offer” was what was being paid to settle the account or if it meant some other balance. The plaintiff also accused the defendant of violating Section 1692f of the FDCPA by using unfair and unconscionable means of attempting to collect on a debt. The suit seeks to include anyone in Florida who received a letter from the defendant that contained deceptive discounted offers.

By using the word “towards” in the offer, the defendant confused the plaintiff because he wasn’t sure if it was an actual attempt to settle the debt, so he did not accept it.

“Defendant’s letter does not make any mention of any benefit or incentive to pay the full balance rather than the discounted amounts,” according to the complaint. “Therefore, the consumer is left confused and misled which option to choose; on the one hand the discounted amount saves him money but on the other hand, the full payment option must have some benefit or else it would not even be a consideration. Yet Defendant’s letter mentions no benefit whatsoever of paying the full balance, making the letter illogical and leaving the consumer wondering if there is a ‘catch’ or if this is a real offer.”

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