A District Court judge in Connecticut has granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action involving a conflict between the dispute timeline collectors are required to give under Regulation F (30 days from the receipt of the notice, excluding weekends and holidays) and the dispute language required when sending letters in Connecticut (30 days after receiving the notice), ruling the two different dates do not contradict each other nor are misleading.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Facchini v. Resurgent Capital Services can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff received a notice from the defendant. The notice included two sections that the plaintiff claimed contradicted one another. The notice, which was dated June 8, 2022, said:
The state of CT requires us to provide the following notice: Unless you notify us within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt, or any portion of it, we will assume this debt is valid. If you notify us in writing within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt, or any portion of it, we will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of a judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. If you request of us in writing, within 30 days after receiving this notice, we will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
The second section informed the plaintiff that she had until July 12 to dispute all or part of the debt, and what would happen if she did write to the defendant before that date and what would happen if she didn’t.
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the notice violated Section 1692e and 1692g of the FDCPA because the first statement gave her until July 9 (her attorney said she received the letter on June 9) to dispute the debt and the second section gave her until July 12.
The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiff lacked standing, which Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer of the District Court for the District of Connecticut agreed with (the plaintiff took no action after receiving the notice), but he took the extra step of saying that the plaintiff’s arguments failed on the merits as well.
Wouldn’t a least sophisticated consumer be confused by having two different dates to submit a dispute? No, because giving a consumer more than the 30 days required under the FDCPA to submit a dispute is not a violation of the statute, Judge Meyer wrote. Judge Meyer did note that the defendant may have not calculated the 30-day period correctly when informing the plaintiff she had until July 12 to submit a dispute, but wrote that “it cannot be said that the July 12 date was shorter than the regulation allows.”