A lawsuit claims DeVille Asset Management, Ltd. mailed the plaintiff a collection letter in which it failed to identify her current creditor, neglected to clearly specify the amount she owed, and demanded an unlawful processing fee for online payments.
A New York consumer has filed suit against DeVille Asset Management, Ltd. over potential Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. According to the complaint, the defendant mailed the plaintiff a collection letter in which it failed to identify her current creditor, neglected to clearly specify the amount she owed, and demanded an unlawful processing fee for online payments.
Specifically, the defendant’s designation of “Santander CO-766” as the woman’s “original creditor” is insufficient to meet the FDCPA’s requirements regarding creditor identification, the lawsuit argues, as the letter failed to label any entity as the “current creditor,” “account owner,” or “creditor to whom the debt is owed.”
“The least sophisticated consumer, reading the letter in its entirety, and especially because of the Letter’s instructions to make payment to Defendant, would not know whether the ‘ORIGINAL CREDITOR’ is also the creditor to whom the debt is owed, whether Defendant is the creditor to whom the debt is owed, or whether the creditor to whom the debt is owed is some unnamed entity,” the complaint explains.
The case also points out that “Santander CO-766” supposedly does not exist as a legal entity, further adding to the confusion around the identity of the plaintiff’s current creditor.
Next, the lawsuit takes issue with the defendant’s alleged inclusion of the plaintiff’s “Current Balance,” arguing that the use of the word “current” and the lack of information concerning whether the balance was subject to interest or fees would leave the unsophisticated unsure as to how much he or she truly owed. Since the letter supposedly contained no references to any interest rate or possible late fees, the plaintiff was left in the dark as to how she should calculate her balance on any given day, the case alleges.
Finally, the complaint argues that the defendant’s “processing fee” applied to online payments is illegal because it was “neither expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt, nor permitted by law.”