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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.
Filed in the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, a collection agency is being sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because a collector informed the plaintiff about a change to credit reporting guidelines, but did not provide details about a new policy from the credit reporting agencies that had not yet gone into effect.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-01510 or by clicking here.
The plaintiff, a 42-year old woman in “deteriorating” health and suffering the effects of long COVID, according to the complaint, incurred a debt that was placed with the defendant for collection. The plaintiff noticed the debt on her credit report and contacted the plaintiff in February 2023. After verifying the plaintiff’s identity, the representative provided information about the debt — $88.58 that was owed to a healthcare facility. The representative informed the plaintiff that she was not facing the threat of litigation, but that the debt would continue to be reported to the credit reporting agencies “for as long as the law allows.” The representative also informed the plaintiff that the credit reporting agencies were now removing medical debts from consumers’ credit reports if the debt was paid in full. The representative did not inform the plaintiff that debts under $500 were also going to be removed, starting in March 2023.
By not informing the plaintiff, the defendant “clearly misled” the plaintiff because only half of the information it knew was being shared, according to the complaint.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating Sections 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(10), and 1692f of the FDCPA, as well as violating state law in Georgia.