It might be a ruling on standing instead of the merits of the argument, but another brick has been placed in the wall being built up around the argument that undated Model Validation Notices are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Background: Like many of the cases that have been filed in this area, the plaintiff accused the defendant of violating the FDCPA because the Model Validation Notice he received did not have a date on it. That made it impossible for the plaintiff to draw a frame of reference to the words “today” and “now” that were used in the MVN’s itemization table. On top of that, the complaint alleged, undated letters are not legitimate and the date is a material term that should be part of any letter.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not include a date on its Model Validation Notice.
- A number of lawsuits have been filed across the country seeking to convince judges that the lack of a date violates the FDCPA, but, to date, none have been successful.
The Ruling: Taking up the issue of whether the plaintiff has standing to sue because he suffered a concrete injury all on his own, Judge Nelson S. Roman of the District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that the plaintiff’s arguments were not tangible enough for him to have standing to pursue his suit.
- The plaintiff claimed to have expended “time and money” to mitigate his risks of future financial harm, but spending time and money are not concrete enough, Judge Roman ruled.
- “Plaintiff asserts conclusory allegations raising speculative harms that fail to demonstrate he suffered a concrete, particularized injury,” Judge Roman wrote. “In his Complaint, Plaintiff repeatedly asserts the various consequences of the confusion and uncertainty caused by the undated letter but fails to plead specific facts sufficient to support any materialized harms.”
- Judge Roman did give the plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended complaint