Class Action Accuses Collector of Violating FDCPA via Text Message

A class-action complaint has been filed in federal court in North Carolina accusing a collector of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by sending a text message to a consumer that created “a false sense of urgency” because of how it was worded, and for not identifying itself as a debt collector when it was contacted by the plaintiff.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Rivera v. Capital Link Management can be accessed by clicking here.

On January 5, 2022, the plaintiff allegedly received the following text message:

Zibby, Maraim Rivera. Your account has an outstanding balance of $2,849.19 . Our client is offering monthly payment plan of $118.72, or pay $1,424.60 as a one time payment to repair your history. Please call CLM at 1 833 859 0749. From a debt collector. 

The plaintiff claims that when she received the text message, she did not know what debt was being collected. She claims the language was intended to make it appear as though the settlement offer was a one-time offer and that no other offers would be forthcoming, and that the message implied the defendant was furnishing information about the debt to the credit reporting agencies when, in fact, it was not.

Twenty-six days after receiving the message, the plaintiff called the number and spoke to a representative of the defendant. The representative informed the plaintiff about the origin of the underlying debt, while also saying that the defendant was a “mediation firm” retained by the creditor to resolve the debt, and that “legal” documents had been sent to the plaintiff. The plaintiff claims the defendant never identified itself as a debt collector and used the language to imply that a lawsuit had been filed against the plaintiff to recover the unpaid debt.

The suit seeks to define two classes — one who received similar settlement offers and one who were told that the defendant was a mediation firm. The plaintiff claims the defendant violated Section 1692e and 1692e(10) of the FDCPA by making false representations, and Section 1692e(11) for not identifying itself as a collector.

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