A proposed class action out of Florida alleges that law firm Duane Morris LLP and two of its attorneys engaged in illegal debt collection activity with regard to an apparently delinquent mortgage.
Behind the case is a consumer who claims she received two demand letters from the defendants in April 2019 concerning a delinquent mortgage loan. According to the case, the first letter stated that the firm had initiated foreclosure proceedings due to an unpaid balance of $76,076.22, and both letters mentioned that “at this time, no attorney with this firm has personally reviewed the particular circumstances of your account.”
The suit claims the letters improperly communicated the plaintiff’s debt dispute rights in that it allegedly stated her debt would “assumed to be valid” unless she disputed its validity within 30 days of receipt of the notices. What the letters omitted, the case claims, was the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act language clarifying that the plaintiff’s alleged debt would only be assumed valid “by the debt collector.”
Further, the suit alleges that not only was the amount the defendants sought to collect incorrect but that the plaintiff’s account was, in fact, personally reviewed by a TD Bank officer, according to foreclosure documents. The complaint points out that the plaintiff, after receiving the letter, had her attorney dispute the debt, and that the defendants nonetheless went on to send a second collection notice directly to the woman. According to the complaint, a debt collector is legally prohibited from reaching out to a consumer, rather than their lawyer, after being notified they have legal counsel.