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Interesting court case


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I don't know if this has been discussed (search times out), but I've been reading US Court of Appeals decions re. Consumer Credit. Found something VERY interesting regarding collection letters and violations of the FDCPA.

The case - Savino v. Computer Credit, Inc.

Savino sued CCI for violations of the FDCPA for CCI's failure to notify him of his right for validation. CCI insisted that they did send a 'first contact' letter that stated Savino's rights to validation. Savino at first denied having gotten the first letter, later recanted and basically said 'assume I got it' BUT, he also said that the language of the letter was confusing and contradictory.

Here's what the Appellate Court ruled on this:

"On April 11, 1997, the district court denied CCI's motion for summary judgment and granted Savino's cross-motion for partial summary judgment, finding that the August 14, 1995, letter violated the FDCPA because the language in the letter demanding "immediate payment" contradicted the language of the 30-day debt validation notice and thus was misleading to consumers. See Savino v. Computer Credit, Inc., 960 F. Supp. 599, 604 (E.D.N.Y. 1997). "

So , all you people out there, like me, who get letters from these idiot CA's insisting on 'immediate payment' and then go ahead and add the 30-day dispute lingo - ITS STILL A VIOALTION OF THE FDCPA per this case !!!

In the discussion it also says:

"In light of this Court's precedent, including Russell, we conclude that CCI's payment notice violates the FDCPA because the language on the front of the notice, when read in conjunction with the statutory debt validation on the reverse side, would "make the least sophisticated consumer uncertain as to her rights." See Russell, 74 F.3d at 35. 2 In reaching this conclusion, we emphasize that CCI's request for immediate payment did not, standing alone, violate the FDCPA. Rather, CCI's violation of the Act consisted of its decision to ask for immediate payment without also explaining that its demand did not override the consumer's rights under Section 1962g to seek validation of the debt. CCI could have both sought immediate payment and complied with the Act simply by inserting into the text of its letter transitional language that referred the addressee to the validation notice. For example, CCI might have added one of the following paragraphs to its demand letter:

Although we have requested that you make immediate payment or provide a valid reason for nonpayment, you still have the right to make a written request, within thirty days of your receipt of this notice, for more information about the debt. Your rights are described on the reverse side of this notice.

Our demand for immediate payment does not eliminate your right to dispute this debt within thirty days of receipt of this notice. If you choose to do so, we are required by law to cease our collection efforts until we have mailed that information to you. Your rights are described on the reverse side of this notice.

In our view, the inclusion of this or similar language would effectively inform a consumer as to his or her rights under the FDCPA without imposing an undue burden on a debt collector's legitimate efforts to obtain the prompt payment of debts. "

Just thought y'all' would like to read this. Here's the URL to the case:


Happy reading !


[Edit by LadynRed on Friday, January 24, 2003 @ 12:41 PM]

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Good points. Also, which is along the same essential lines, a CA has violated the FDCPA if they send you a demand for payment either a) without notification of your right to dispute, or B) after they send you the initial letter/dispute notice that they said they sent but you didn't ever receive.

As for B, I tore into a CA a few weeks back and they insisted they had sent the initial letter about my dispute rights prior to their second letter (which was the first I'd ever heard from them). I asked them to provide me with a proof of mailing for the alleged "first" letter. They freaked out and then admitted that they "got the proof certificate, but had misplaced it."

I then wrote up my case and sent it to them, along with notice that I would sue if we couldn't reach a settlement in 10 days. Two days later, I received a $700 check via FedEx overnight. The "debt" itself is still an outstanding issue, but I doubt they're going to be able to validate.

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