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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.
Is telling a collector that you “will not be paying these accounts” the same as refusing to pay? Is that an interpretation that a collector should make? A consumer has filed a lawsuit against a collector for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for attempting to collect on a debt after receiving that update and for allegedly sending four letters to the plaintiff after responding to a CFPB consumer complaint saying that it would cease all communications.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-00074 or by clicking here.
The defendant made attempts to collect on a debt, after which the plaintiff allegedly sent the defendant a letter, saying that, due to her financial situation, she would not be making any payments on the accounts in question. A month later, the plaintiff filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The defendant allegedly responded to the complaint eight days later, saying it had honored the request to cease communications.
But the complaint alleges that four additional letters were sent months after the letter and consumer complaint were submitted.
The complaint alleges the defendant violated Section 1692c(c) of the FDCPA as well as provisions of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.
One interesting wrinkle in this complaint that I haven’t seen much of — maybe I just wasn’t paying attention — was a new section of the complaint detailing the injuries-in-fact that were suffered, which has become a requirement to pursue these kinds of cases in federal court to ensure the plaintiff has standing to sue.