Two named plaintiffs are behind a proposed class action in which they claim Capital Management Services, L.P. engaged in conduct deemed illegal by federal debt collection law.
One plaintiff claims she received a collection letter from the defendant in July 2017. According to the lawsuit, the letter listed the plaintiff’s “current creditor” as Department Stores National Bank (DSNB) while simultaneously stating that Macy’s, the source of the debt’s origination, engaged with defendant Capital Management Services to resolve the obligation. The plaintiff claims she was misled by the notice in that DSNB and Macy’s are two distinct businesses.
From here the lawsuit moves on to separate collection letters sent to the plaintiff in November and December 2017 over the same Macy’s credit card debt. The November letter allegedly stated the defendant was willing to settle the plaintiff’s obligation for roughly 46 percent of the total balance due while imposing a deadline of November 24 for Capital Management to receive payment for the offer to remain valid. This letter reportedly informed the plaintiff that the defendant was “not obligated to renew this offer,” thereby implying that payment needed to be submitted sooner rather than later.
In early December, the suit goes on, the plaintiff received another letter from Capital Management regarding the same obligation in which the company presented the same settlement offer but with a different payment deadline. According to the lawsuit, this tactic is false, deceptive and misleading under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in that there was no true “due date” for the defendant’s settlement offer.
“Upon information and belief, if the consumer mailed a payment in the amount stated, and this amount was received after the ‘due’ date, [the defendant] would process the payment as a settlement of the debt,” according to the lawsuit.
The second named plaintiff’s alleged situation is similar to that of the first in that she, too, received collection notices from Capital Management that contained offers to settle a Macy’s credit card debt so long as payment was submitted on or before a certain date. One letter, sent in December 2017, supposedly stated the defendant was willing to settle the individual’s debt for 76 percent of the total due. Again, Capital Management relayed that it was “not obligated to renew this offer,” the suit says.
Like the first named plaintiff, the second consumer received yet another notice containing an offer to settle for 46 percent of the total due so long as the defendant received payment before a late-January deadline, according to the case.
The lawsuit alleges the settlement options presented in the defendant’s communications are false and misleading in that they were not limited-time offers at all. Instead, the offers were simply a means of imparting on the plaintiffs and proposed class members a false belief that they must hurry to take advantage of settlement offers that are actually available at any time, the suit claims.