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.
A law firm in New York is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly sending a letter to an individual attempting to collect on an unpaid debt without making the required disclosures that the communication was coming from a debt collector and threatening to file a lawsuit 18 days after the letter was sent to the plaintiff.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-07763 or by clicking here. A copy of the letter in question can be accessed by clicking here.
The letter, which includes the letterhead for the law firm at the top, is dated August 7, 2023 and informs that plaintiff that it has been retained by Westrock Industries for work that was done to the plaintiff’s pool/spa, in the amount of $872.42. The letter includes two invoices for different services that were performed, as well as a photo of the plaintiff’s equipment. The letter informs the plaintiff that he has not yet paid for the work that was performed and that a demand for payment was being made. The letter informs the plaintiff that unless payment of the debt is received by August 25, a lawsuit was going to be filed against him.
The complaint accuses the collector of not including any of the required disclosures that would normally accompany a collection letter sent by a collector to a consumer. The letter also failed to include an itemization of the debt, which is especially important because the total of the two invoices included with the letter was $396.65 and the letter does not explain why the amount being sought it more than double the amount in the invoices. The complaint also accuses the defendant of overshadowing the 30-day window for the consumer to dispute the debt by threatening a lawsuit before that time had expired.
The complaint accuses the collector of violating Sections 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(10), 1692f, and 1692g of the FDCPA. The complaint seeks to include anyone else who received initial collection communications from the defendant without an itemized breakdown of the debt and the required dispute and verification disclosures, while also not disclosing that the communication was from a debt collector.