Portfolio Recovery Associates, L.L.C. is facing a proposed class action in which a New York consumer alleges the debt collector sent him a misleading letter designed to “disadvantage” the man.
The case takes issue with a letter reportedly sent to the plaintiff in August 2017 after he attempted to dispute a debt with the defendant over the phone. During the phone call, the complaint alleges, the defendant told the plaintiff he was required to mail a written dispute and provide a reason for the dispute. The case argues this misled the consumer, as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not require that a dispute be made in writing nor be accompanied by “any reason at all.”
After the call, the defendant supposedly sent a letter stating, “We have completed our investigation of your dispute concerning this account. PRA, LLC has obtained and reviewed the attached documents related to this account which establish its validity.” The suit argues the defendant should have simply identified the attached documentation as verification of the debt, as the company could not assume the validity of the debt due to the plaintiff’s dispute.
Further, the complaint alleges the debt collector failed to properly indicate in the letter the disputed status of the debt. As a result, the case argues, the defendant’s communications “violated the FDCPA since they frustrate[d] the consumer’s ability to intelligently choose his or her response.”