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One of the trends that defense lawyers have identified in recent months as a new strategy being attempted by plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ attorneys is one that has to do with disputes. Plaintiffs are attempting to catch defendants into not updating accounts or furnishing inaccurate information to the credit reporting agencies regarding whether an account is being disputed or no longer being disputed.
A complaint has been filed in federal court in the District Court for the Eastern District of California, accusing a collector of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by allegedly incorrectly marking an account as disputed after receiving a letter from the plaintiff.
A copy of the complaint, for anyone who is interested, can be accessed by clicking here.
This March, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant, informing it that the plaintiff was refusing to pay the debt. Two weeks later, the plaintiff saw that the debt was being reported to the credit reporting agencies as being disputed, even though it had never previously been reported as disputed. The plaintiff, according to the complaint, was not disputing the debt when she submitted the letter indicating she had no plans to pay the debt.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating Section 1692e of the FDCPA by “willfully” communicating information it knew to be false,” alleging that the defendant made false, deceptive, or misleading representations in attempting to collect on the debt.