PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit after a debt collector was alleged to have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
On Jan. 18, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion by Radius Global Solutions LLC and others to dismiss a class action complaint filed by Nadia Henry and motion for summary judgment involving the debt collection case.
Henry filed suit against the company, alleging the debt collector was in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
"We analyzed the varied interpretations of federal law and find a debtor states a claim when the debt collector's notice tells the least sophisticated debtor she may dispute the claim but does not tell her the debt collector will not act unless the dispute is in writing," U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney wrote.
"We also find this federal law is not unconstitutionally vague because of differing interpretations by district judges. Congress has set the standard and our Court of Appeals has clarified the need for disputes in writing."
According to court papers, Henry was notified by the debt collection company in an attempt to collect $160.25 allegedly owed to TD Bank. Henry alleges that Radius "ambiguously described how she could dispute this debt under Sections 1692g and 1692e of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," the decision says.
In her class action complaint, Henry contends that a similar initial notice letter was sent to a class of persons residing in Pennsylvania. She argued that in doing so, the debt collector violated part of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act by failing to adequately inform her she must dispute the debt in writing and that Radius' initial notice letter is false, deceptive or misleading.
Radius argued that a validation notice did not violate the section of the act.
"We acknowledge Radius tracks the statute in its notice but merely tracking the statutory language is insufficient to comply with Section 1692g -- the validation notice 'must also be conveyed effectively to the debtor,'" the ruling said.