We are pleased to report a victory in the Eastern District of Missouri in an FDCPA case. The opinion can be read here.
Our client, NCEP, a passive debt buyer, was sued for FDCPA violations arising from an inbound telephone call. NCEP does not collect debt itself, and had placed the debt with an agency. The agency mailed two letters providing all required 1692(g) notices, and the letters were not returned undeliverable. The debtor claims not to have received the letters, and further claims she first noticed the debt on her credit report. NCEP maintained a customer service line. The debtor called the line and began asking questions. The NCEP representative did not provide the required disclosures under the FDCPA (as it was not attempting to collect the debt), but did transfer the call to the agency, who provided the disclosures. This all occurred during the same call.
Plaintiff argued, among other protestations, that NCEP overshadowed her rights, failed to validate, and the NCEP representative was required to give the disclosures. The Court disagreed on all counts. The Judge reiterated that sending the initial 1692(g) letter is all that is required to validate the debt, thus, no overshadowing claim could exist, and she supported the notion that disclosures given at some point during the call - even if the debtor spoke to multiple persons - is sufficient.