Gross Polowy, LLC and Caliber Home Loans are the defendants in a proposed class action filed by a New York consumer who claims he received collection notices from the companies that were out of step with the FDCPA.
Gross Polowy, LLC and Caliber Home Loans are the defendants in a proposed class action filed by a New York consumer who claims he received collection notices from the companies that were out of step with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) guidelines.
The timeline in the complaint starts back in March 2013 when the plaintiff supposedly incurred an obligation owed to non-party J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. This debt, the case says, was assigned to non-party Vericrest Financial for collection before it was sold to Caliber Home Loans around July 2017. The plaintiff’s debt was in default at the time it was acquired by Caliber Home Loans, the complaint adds.
According to the lawsuit, Caliber then placed the plaintiff’s debt with Gross Polowy for collection sometime around mid-May 2018. That same month, Gross Polowy reportedly mailed the plaintiff a collection letter over the defaulted obligation that stated, in part:
Gross Polowy, LLC represents CALIBER HOME LOANS, INC. regarding the payment default on the mortgage loan for the property located at XXXXXXXXXXX. The law firm of Gross Polowy, LLC and the attorneys whom it employs are debt collectors who are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained by them will be used for that purpose.
If you do not notify us in writing within thirty days after receipt of this letter that you dispute the validity of this debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed by us to be valid.”
The defendants then sent the plaintiff another collection notice the following month that stated, in part:
Despite this demand for payment, if any portion of this claim is disputed, you must notify us in writing, within 30 days, indicating the nature of the dispute as to the amount due or any portion thereof. If we do not hear from you within 30 days, we will assume the debt to be valid as stated in the letter. If you indicate a dispute, we will provide you with the evidence concerning the validity of the debt. Upon your writing request, and within the 30- day period, we shall provide you the name and address of the original creditor if different from the current creditor. In addition, you are entitled to an accounting of the unpaid indebtedness.”
The lawsuit charges the defendants violated the FDCPA by requiring the plaintiff to submit any debt disputes in writing. Such conduct amounts to a failure by the companies to effectively provide notice to the plaintiff of his FDCPA rights, the suit claims. Moreover, the plaintiff argues the defendants’ requirement that he notify them of his dispute in writing “within 30 days” is confusing, as it’s unclear whether this means 30 days in addition to the time period in between his receipt of the notices.
“The least sophisticated consumer upon reading the May 15, 2018 letter and the June 12, 2018 [letter], which are less than thirty days apart from each other, would be confused as to the when his dispute period begins and when it terminates,” the case reads.