Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA is facing a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a New York woman who claims the debt collector sent her two misleading collection notices. The letters, according to the complaint, referenced a defaulted car loan and stated the plaintiff’s balance due as of the date each letter was sent. The letters also contained itemized lists that noted “Total Interest Charged Since Charge-off” and “Total Charges and Fees Since Charge-off,” the case says.
The suit argues that the letters were misleading, however, because they implied the plaintiff’s balance was increasing yet failed to disclose certain vital information, such as the interest rate and date of accrual, that would allow the woman to calculate how much she truly owed. “There is simply no way for the least sophisticated consumer to conclude the proper amount or status of the alleged debt,” the complaint reads. “Nor can the consumer determine what interest and fees may continue to accrue.” The suit then claims that the failure to clearly convey the amount of a consumer’s debt is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The case takes further issue with the defendant’s demands for “interest” and “charges and fees.” These costs were never explained, the case argues, claiming the defendant was obligated under the FDCPA to produce evidence that the plaintiff agreed to pay the extra fees, or that the charges are permitted by law before the company can attempt to collect them.
On top of that, the case continues, the defendant’s letters, despite the lack of an attorney’s signature at the bottom of each notice, allegedly implied that an attorney was meaningfully involved in the collection of the plaintiff’s debt. The complaint ends by charging that the defendant unlawfully contacted third parties – the plaintiff’s relatives – regarding the money owed.