Two Wisconsin consumers claim in a proposed class action that Enhanced Recovery Company, LLC sent them letters in which it used misleading language to extend settlement offers.
One plaintiff’s letter described the defendant’s settlement offer as a “payoff amount,” a term the suit says typically means a payment that would completely satisfy a debt. The letter went on to say, however, that the plaintiff may need to pay the “remaining balance” on the account to purchase her creditor’s services again in the future, according to the suit. The case argues that the plaintiff’s letter, on its face, is unclear as to what will happen should the consumer pay the listed “payoff amount,” and that the statements referencing a “payoff amount” and that the individual may need to pay some remaining balance are “contradictory, inherently false, deceptive, misleading, and confusing.”
“Assuming the payment would actually ‘settle’ the account,” the lawsuit says, “there would be no ‘remaining balance’ that Sprint could require Plaintiff to pay to re-establish service. If there is a ‘remaining balance’ that Plaintiff still owed Sprint, the account would not actually be ‘settled.’”
Both plaintiffs allege the defendant stated in their respective letters that it was not obligated to renew its settlement offers while simultaneously failing to indicate expiration dates for the payment options. By not knowing how long the offers would remain valid, the consumers, the suit argues, would feel intimidated into accepting the settlements since they may be rescinded at any time without notice.