Epstein Becker Green secured a significant victory for a collections agency on an issue involving notification language in collection letters. The plaintiff filed a class action complaint alleging that the defendant’s collection letter violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by containing an inherent contradiction. On its front side, the collection letter said the debtor could dispute the debt either orally or in writing. On the reverse side, the letter provided a notice required by the FDCPA explaining the different consequences of written and oral dispute-making. The plaintiff claimed that the letter misled her into believing that she could dispute the debt orally but still obtain all of the protections of the FDCPA as if she had disputed the debt in writing. The court ruled that, when read as a whole, the collection letter “neither misstates the rights that attach to each form of dispute-making nor encourages the consumer to make disputes in one form or another” and “would not confuse or mislead even the least sophisticated consumer,” and dismissed the complaint.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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