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DISCLAIMER: This article is based on a complaint. The defendant has not responded to the complaint to present its side of the case. The claims mentioned are accusations and should be considered as such until and unless proven otherwise.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against a collection agency, accusing it of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act because it allegedly added an “illegal” collection fee that represented 67% of the total amount owed, and for reporting a higher debt that could be legally collected.
A copy of the complaint can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff took out a lease for an apartment. When the lease ended, the plaintiff was sent a notice, listing property damages, rent, and late fees that totaled $1,296. A $300 security deposit was credited to the account, altering the balance to $996. The debt was transferred to the defendant for collection, and a collection fee of $664 was added to the balance, raising the total amount due to $1,600.
The defendant sent the plaintiff a validation letter for the $1,600 balance. The letter included a statement, ““as a third party debt collection company, PDM does not add any fees to your account.”
The plaintiff allegedly sought explanations from the collection agency about the collection fee, but was not told by a representative of the agency in an email that ““Our client is firm on the balance due.”
The plaintiff filed suit, accusing the defendant of violating Sections 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), and 1692d of the FDCPA, as well as sections of the FCCPA. The suit seeks to include anyone who was sent a letter from the defendant “demanding a collection fee not permitted by the lease” and where “inflated amounts” were reported to the credit reporting agencies.