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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 plaintiff has filed a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit against a defendant for holding the plaintiff to the letter of a settlement agreement, claiming that the defendant violated the statute and breached an agreement between the two parties because a payment from the plaintiff was received two days late.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the District of New Jersey, is available by using case number 23-cv-02688 or by clicking here.
The plaintiff and defendant entered into a settlement agreement in March 2022 where the plaintiff agreed to make 18 payments — due on the last day of each month — that would total $9,452.09. The plaintiff allegedly contacted the defendant on March 29 to make the first payment over the phone, but was told that payments would only be accepted if they were sent in via mail. The plaintiff sent the payment via overnight mail and it was posted on March 30.
The plaintiff sent the next payment on April 22 and it was posted on May 2. April 30, 2022 — the last day of the month — fell on a Saturday. The defendant contacted the plaintiff and said the agreement needed to be renegotiated because payment was not received by the last day of the month. The defendant requested a lump sum payment of $11,447.61, according to the complaint. The plaintiff’s debt settlement representative called to try and get the agreement reinstated, but the defendant refused, according to the complaint. The plaintiff’s lawyer sent two letters seeking to discuss the matter, but the defendant allegedly never responded. The lawyer called earlier this month and was told that the balance on the account was now $14,773.49 and that the account was in queue for litigation. The defendant said it would accepted $10,321 to resolve the account.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating Sections 1692f(1), 1692e(10), and 1692e(2)(A) of the FDCPA by refusing to honor a valid settlement agreement and misrepresenting the amount of the debt.