On January 14, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered judgment in favor of a defendant debt collector accused of violating the FDCPA in a consolidated action concerning disclosure language used in a letter sent to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, who had previously been sued by the defendant, hired an attorney who sent a letter to the defendant requesting additional information about the plaintiffs’ debts. The defendant responded and included in its letter a disclosure that stated, “This communication is from a debt collector but is not an attempt to collect a debt. Notice: See Reverse Side for Important Information.” The plaintiffs sued, claiming that the disclosure was a “‘false representation or deceptive means’ used to collect a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10)” because “the letter was, indeed, an attempt to collect a debt.” The court disagreed. The court held that “[t]he letters do not demand payment, offer alternatives to default, or request financial information,” and noted that “[i]n fact, the letters make no request of any kind from the debtors,” and that“[t]he letters contain contact information, but do not offer any means of making payment on the alleged debt and expressly disclaim that the letter is an ‘attempt to collect a debt.’” Moreover, the court found that because the defendant’s letter was sent in response to a request from the plaintiffs’ attorney, it could not be considered an attempt to collect a debt. In addition, the court ruled that two new theories put forward in plaintiffs’ summary judgment were procedurally barred.
- How-to guide How-to guide: How to avoid liability for defective products in supply of goods agreements (USA)
- Checklist Checklist: Delivery and acceptance of goods in a business-to-business sale of goods contract (USA)
- Checklist Checklist: Review of terms and conditions for the purchase of goods and services from the perspective of the buyer (USA)