A District Court in Massachusetts has recently held that a creditor violated two sections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by requiring consumers to dispute debts in writing. In Rocke v. Monarch recovery Management, Inc., the Plaintiff filed a class action complaint in which she alleged that the Defendant sent collection letters stating that it would assume the debt was valid unless the Plaintiff disputed the debt's validity “in writing.”
The Plaintiff argued that the collection letter violated section 1692g(a)(3) of the FDCPA because this section doesn't specifically require the dispute to be in writing. The Court agreed with this position noting the other sections of the FDCPA that do explicitly impose a writing requirement, whereas 1692g(a)(3) does not. The Court further held that the collection letter violated section 1692e of the FDCPA because the requirement to dispute the debt in writing constituted a “false, deceptive, or misleading representation.”
Defendants can recover up $1,000.00 in statutory damages, actual damages, as well as attorneys' fees and cost from a creditor who violates the FDCPA. If there is still an outstanding balance on the underlying debt, having a FDCPA claim against a creditor can help negotiate a favorable settlement or even make the entire debt go away.
If you've received a collection letter that requires you to submit your dispute in writing or if you have experienced any other form of creditor harassment, do not hesitate to contact the Holland Law Group to hire an experienced Florida attorney. We have attorneys throughout the state that can assist you whether you're in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Duval, Orlando, Sarasota, or any other area in Florida. Call our office for your consultation today!