Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 12:08 PM

Addressing the FDCPA: Technical Errors Did Not Constitute FDCPA Violations

Posted by: Bob Gaumont

Kara Boyle co-authored this post.  

Claims involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") can be difficult to defeat on a motion to dismiss because the burden is placed on the debt collector to show that all statements in any debt collection notice are true.  In Hill v. Midland Funding, LLC, CCB-12-2397 (April 16, 2013) the United States District Court for the District of Maryland addressed some fairly technical errors relating to compliance with the FDCPA and concluded that they did not support a putative class action related to claims under the FDCPA.

How technical were these errors?  One of the Defendants in this case listed the address of its parent company, instead of the subsidiary in its lawsuits to seek repayment of a debt.   Only the subsidiary was licensed as the debt collector, and the FDCPA requires that all notices include the address of the licensed debt collector.   In addition, the Defendants also filed collection affidavits which were truthful, but that likely did not meet the standard required in a collections case because the affiants lacked personal knowledge.  Plaintiff argued that this was comparable to making a "false" statement.

The Court disagreed.  Defendants' actions of "filing lawsuits with an incorrect address and using truthful, but potentially insufficient, affidavits under Maryland Rule 3-306" did not support, as a matter of law, claims for violations of the FDCPA.


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