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6th Cir. App. Ct. Defines FDCPA Verification Standard


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Last week, in Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC, — F. 3d — Cir. 2014), 2014 WL 3440174 (6th Cir. Mich. 2014), 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13498, the Sixth Circuit expanded the requirement for how a debt collector must respond to a debtor’s request for verification of a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”), creating the most consumer-friendly verification standard ever.

 

http://www.insidearm.com/daily/sixth-circuit-broadens-fdcpa-verification-requirements-for-debt-collectors/

 

http://www.michbar.org/e-journal/072114.cfm

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Last week, in Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC, — F. 3d — Cir. 2014), 2014 WL 3440174 (6th Cir. Mich. 2014), 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13498, the Sixth Circuit expanded the requirement for how a debt collector must respond to a debtor’s request for verification of a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”), creating the most consumer-friendly verification standard ever.

 

http://www.insidearm.com/daily/sixth-circuit-broadens-fdcpa-verification-requirements-for-debt-collectors/

 

http://www.michbar.org/e-journal/072114.cfm

 

Hope other circuits will adopt this.

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While this ruling can be useful, it does not involve credit card debt.  I don't believe any of the Circuit Courts of Appeals have ruled on proper verification for that type of debt.  

In this recent ruling, the defendant could not verify a $50.00 fee for condominium assessments.  As a result, they couldn't verify the amount of the debt.   

Providing what the court required for verification of condo assessments would not be as extensive as providing that same type of verification for a credit card account.

Chaudhry v. Gallerizzo  (4th Circuit) involved the verification of attorney fees.  Mahon v. Credit Bureau (9th Circuit) was about a doctor's bill.  Needless to say, providing a complete accounting of those types of debts would be much easier than for a credit card debt.


Note this part of the court's ruling:

These cases suggest that the "baseline" for verification is to enable the consumer to "sufficiently dispute the payment obligation." Although the answer to that question depends on the facts of a particular situation, the cases reflect that an itemized accounting detailing the transactions in an account that have led to the debt is often the best means of accomplishing that objective.

There's no guarantee that a court would require such an accounting for a credit card account.  But, I think it's safe to say that a CA or JDB has to provide more than their word.

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@debtzapper@shellieh98@BV80

 

This is how InsideArm views the ruling:

 

The real difficulty of the Haddad ruling will be where to draw the line. The Haddad verification standard is a somewhat flexible standard that requires a factual assessment of the details of each debt and assumes that the debtor has a real dispute that he wants to resolve. For debtors who simply want to avoid paying, the Haddad verification standard gives them endless opportunities to demand more verification information, hold off collections indefinitely, and badger debt collectors with trivial or irrelevant demands. Debt collectors will need to judge carefully about which demands for verification are frivolous and when the debt collector has met the burden of supplying sufficient verification. The new standard for verification articulated in Haddad does not make this task easy. Debt collectors should contact their attorneys for legal advice about how to comply with Haddad.

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