EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is part of a series that is sponsored by WebRecon. WebRecon identifies serial plaintiffs lurking in your database BEFORE you contact them and expose yourself to a likely lawsuit. Protect your company from as many as one in three new consumer lawsuits by scrubbing your consumers through WebRecon first. Want to learn more? Call (855) WEB-RECON or email [email protected] today! Thanks to WebRecon for sponsoring this series.
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.
There are a number of circumstances under which I will choose to spotlight a complaint. Today’s complaint is an example of the dilemma that many collectors face — does a consumer’s declaration that he or she refuses to pay the debt mean that the collector should cease and desist all collection efforts? One plaintiff thinks it does and has sued the collector for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it sent validation information twice to the plaintiff after receiving the notification.
A copy of the complaint, which was originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and subsequently removed to the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by the defendant, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-00392 or by clicking here.
The plaintiff sent a handwritten, two-page letter to the defendant last September, which the complaint labels as the “First Dispute Letter.” In the letter, the plaintiff talks about her difficulties making ends meet and says that “maybe I should consider buying a bike” because of the problems she is having buying gas for her car. “I disagree with what you are reporting for any account,” she wrote. “I refuse to pay any account. I may need to make payments on my ride but I am not sure if this is the right thing to do. I hope you understand. Thanks for your help & understanding as I get through this year.”
A month later, the defendant sent the plaintiff a verification letter, saying it was responding to the plaintiff’s dispute and enclosing additional documentation to establish the validity of the account. Less than a week later, it sent the same verification letter two more times to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff filed suit, accusing the defendant of violating Sections 1692c(c) and 1692 of the FDCPA.