Howard Lee Schiff, P.C. and Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) have been named as defendants in a proposed class action alleging the debt collectors miscommunicated a consumer’s debt dispute rights. According to the complaint, Howard Lee Schiff sent the man a collection letter on PRA’s behalf containing the following statement:
“If you notify our firm in writing within thirty (30) days of receiving this letter that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or if you request the name and address of the original creditor, our firm shall cease collection of the debt and the debt will be verified within 30 days of such request at no cost to you.”
The lawsuit argues that upon reading this notice, the plaintiff would be led to believe that “the only legally effective way to dispute the debt was to do so in writing” when, in reality, he was also permitted to submit a dispute over the phone.
“By providing an inaccurate validation notice, the Defendant caused the Plaintiff real harm,” the complaint argues, adding that the letter left him unsure of his rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.