Class Action Accuses Collector of Violating FDCPA Over Premature SOL Disclosure

A class action has been filed against a company for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by including a statement in a letter to the plaintiff that the statute of limitations had expired on the underlying debt when, according to the plaintiff, that expiration had not yet occurred.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Wolkenfeld v. Portfolio Recovery Associates can be accessed by clicking here. The case was originally filed in state court in New York, but has been removed to federal court at the request of the defendant.

The plaintiff received a dispute response letter from the defendant in early September 2021. The notification includes a statement indicating that the statute of limitations on the debt had expired, but that the individual could choose to make payments. If a payment was submitted, the statement read, the statute of limitations may restart. The dispute notification letter indicated that the debt was charged off and sold by the original creditor to the defendant in late September 2018, less than three years prior to the dispute notification letter being sent.

Given that the applicable statute of limitations in New York is three years, the plaintiff is accusing the defendant of violating Sections 1692e, 1692e(2)(a), 1692e(10), and 1692f of the FDCPA and seeking to include anyone else who received a letter containing a similar disclosure whose statutes of limitation had not yet expired.

The plaintiff claims to have expended time and money in determining the proper course of action while also suffering emotional harm due to the actions of the defendant. Specifically, the plaintiff suffered a concrete and particularized injury “because the FDCPA provides Plaintiff with the legally protected right to not be misled or treated unfairly with respect to any action for the collection of any consumer debt,” according to the complaint.

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