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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 collection operation is facing a class-action lawsuit in federal court for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by sending the plaintiff a letter that offered to settle the debt for less than the full balance, but set a deadline on the offer that was the same date as the expiration of the 30-day window to seek validation or dispute all or part of the debt. The letter also included a typo where the “Your Interest” line item was listed as “<<Insert4>>” in the letter.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the District of New Jersey, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-01169 or by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a letter from the defendant in January of this year. In the upper-right corner of the letter was a table itemizing the debt being collected. The table included the amount that was owed, the interest, fees, payments, and total balance due. The table also included a settlement offer and a line item describing the amount that was being saved. The interest line item in the table was <<Insert4>> while all the other line items contained numerical values.
The letter also informed the plaintiff he had until February 20 to dispute all or part of the debt or to seek information about the original creditor. The letter also informed the settlement offer, which represented 80% of the balance that was owed, was going to expire on February 20. After that date, the defendant reserved the right to modify the offer or revoke it entirely.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating Sections 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(10), 1692f, and 1692g of the FDCPA. It seeks to include anyone who received similar letters from the defendant where the language in the letter overshadowed the validation notice.