Case Conclusion Date: 12.16.2011
Practice Area: Class Action
Outcome: Pending class certification
Description: Collection law firm's letter sent to consumers who were defending themselves in a collection lawsuit is alleged to violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The letter stated that, by paying the proposed settlement, “Proof that the debt has been paid will be sent to the court and copy to you so that you can advise the credit bureau.” By specifically stating that the purpose for sending the consumer a copy of its notice is "so that you can advise the credit bureau," the law firm (1) implied that there was something about the lawsuit or the client's claim on the consumer's credit report, and (2) sending the copy of the firm's court notice would do something positive for the consumer. The firm's client, however, had not done any credit reporting or, if it had, all reported information was automatically deleted as soon as the consumers filed their answer to the complaint. Therefore, at the time the letter was sent, there was nothing about the lawsuit or the client's claim on the consumer's credit report, and if the consumer settled, sending a copy of what the law firm sent to the court would do nothing to affect the consumer's credit report.