DEBT RELIEF LAW CENTER
Attorney N. James Turner Can Help
Stop The Harassment!
The FDCPA, among other things, mandates that, as part of noticing a debt, a “debt collector” must send the consumer a written notice containing -- along with other information – “the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.” This requirement is sometimes referred to as the "Debt Validation Notice." In addition, the Act prohibits a “debt collector” from using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” For purposes of the FDCPA, a false representation in connection with the collection of a debt is sufficient to violate the FDCPA facially, even where no misleading or deception is claimed.
In Bourff v. Rubin Lublin, LLC., 674 F.3d 1238 (11th Cir. 2012), the plaintiff claimed that the creditor’s law firm violated the prohibition on false, deceptive, or misleading representations by falsely stating in its collection statutory notice that BAC was the creditor when it was really the assignee of the original creditor - America’s Wholesale Lender (AWL).
The facts of the case are that when the debtor failed to make a payment on the loan causing a default, AWL assigned the loan and security agreement to BAC. The law firm hired by BAC sent the debtor a letter stating that it was notice pursuant to the FDCPA and that it was an attempt to collect a debt; the notice identified BAC as the creditor. In his suit, the debtor claimed that the notice violated the FDCPA because it falsely represented that the company, BAC, was the creditor on the loan. The district court concluded that the error was a harmless mistake and dismissed the Complaint.
In reversing the trial court and vacating the order of dismissal, the Court found that the statement in the notice that BAC was the creditor was a false representation and that it was made by a debt collector under the FDCPA. The Court considered that the identity of the “creditor” in the statutory notices is “a serious matter.”
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