Class-Action Accuses Collector of Trying to Collect Canceled Debt

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a collection agency, accusing it of contacting an individual who was represented by an attorney — because the plaintiff had already filed suit against another agency for the same debt before the account was recalled and placed with another agency — and for sending a collection letter two days after the healthcare provider sent a letter informing the individual that the debt had been canceled, and for using an envelope with a glassine window, through which the phrase “Mail this form to:” was visible.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Vela v. L J Ross Associates & Advocate Aurora Health can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff incurred a debt Advocate Aurora Health and it was placed with an agency for collection. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against that agency that is currently in litigation. The debt was subsequently assigned by Advocate to the defendant in this case. The lawsuit claims that Advocate informed the defendant that the plaintiff was represented by an attorney, but that is not known for sure. The defendant sent a collection letter to the plaintiff, which the plaintiff claims violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it allegedly knew that the plaintiff was represented by an attorney. As well, two days before the agency sent its letter, Advocate sent a letter to the plaintiff, informing her that the entirety of the debt had been canceled. Finally, the letter sent by the agency was enclosed in an envelope with a glassine window, through which the phrase “Mail this form to:” was visible. The complaint alleges the collector violated Section 1692f(8) of the FDCPA by using language or symbols other than the collector’s address when communicating with a consumer via mail.

The complaint seeks to create two classes — one of people who received a letter through which “Mail this form to:” was visible through the envelope in violation of the FDCPA, and one of people from whom the agency attempted to collect on a debt that had been canceled by the creditor, in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. The complaint also makes individual allegations of FDCPA violations for contacting an individual who was being represented by an attorney.

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