Complaint Alleges Collector Violated Reg F’s Debt Parking Prohibition

A lawsuit has been filed against a collection agency for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the “debt parking” provisions of Regulation F — in what might be the first such lawsuit filed following the enactment of the debt collection rule last November.

A copy of the complaint in the case of Brown v. I.C. System and Women’s Care, Florida, can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff participated in a research study which required the administration of some medical tests to assess her health prior to the commencement of the study. The costs of the tests were $424 and were supposed to be paid for by the company administering the study. Last November, prior to Regulation F going into effect, the facility that administered the tests referred the unpaid debt to the defendant. This March, the plaintiff checked her credit report and noticed that the unpaid debt was being reported on her account. About a week later, according to the complaint, the plaintiff received a letter from the defendant, notifying her about the debt. The plaintiff disputed the debt with the credit reporting agencies about a month ago. After the dispute was filed, but before the complaint was filed, the plaintiff received a call from the facility, informing her that the debt should not have been sent to collections.

The plaintiff’s complaint accuses the defendants of violating Sections 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(8), 1692f(1), and 1692c(b), and Section 1006.30(a) of Regulation F, which requires collectors either speak to a consumer over the phone or sends a letter and then waits a reasonable amount of time before furnishing information about a debt to a credit reporting agency. The complaint alleges the defendant violated Regulation F by furnishing information about the debt prior to speaking with the plaintiff over the phone or before notifying her in a letter, and that such a disclosure also allegedly violated the third-party disclosure provision of the FDCPA.

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