Out of state debt collectors LTD Financial Services, L.P. and Advantage Assets II, Inc. have been sued by an Indiana consumer, announces the Indiana Consumer Law Group/The Law Office of Robert E. Duff. The lawsuit, which has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleges that LTD Financial Services, L.P. and Advantage Assets II, Inc. violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The plaintiff alleges in her complaint that the debt, which she learned about because it had been reported to one or more credit reporting agencies, arose out of identity theft and is not her debt. She contacted LTD Financial Services and advised them of this fact, but, the complaint alleges, LTD Financial Services promptly sent her a collection letter attempting to collect the debt that was not hers. Further, the consumer alleges that LTD Financial Services failed to advise her of certain rights under she has under the FDCPA either in the telephone call or by letter afterward. The FDCPA provides that a debt collector must, within five days of its initial communication with a consumer, provide certain information to the consumer such as the amount of the debt, the current entity to which it is owed and certain rights to dispute the debt and request validation of it. It is also a violation of the FDCPA to attempt to collect a debt from someone that they don’t owe – and a victim of identity theft does NOT owe the debt even though it may be in their name. The consumer/plaintiff is seeking an award of actual damages, statutory damages, costs and attorney fees.
This lawsuit highlights another important provision of the FDCPA. The FDCPA details exactly what information a debt collector must provide to a consumer when the debt collector begins to collect a debt. You might be surprised to learn that debt collectors often mess this up. We review a lot of collection letters for consumers and regularly find that certain collection letters do not comply with the law. If you have received one or more collection letters from a debt collector, we would be happy to review the letters for a potential FDCPA violation at no charge to you. Contact our office here and let us know you would like to have a collection letter reviewed.