Weiss v. Zwicker & Associates PC

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Consumer Protection

New York Law Journal

Judge Spatt

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DEFENDANT law firm specializes in debt collection. Its March 26, 2008 collection letter to plaintiff stated that the debt was $30,982. Additional language stated that the balance may include additional charges including delinquency charges. As required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the March 28 letter explained that plaintiff had a right to forward a written notice disputing the debt within 30 days. Defendant's second June 28, demand letter said that the debt was $32,596. Plaintiff's July 24, 2008, lawsuit alleged that defendant law firm's two debt collection letters violated the FDCPA. The court granted partial summary judgment in the law firm's favor on plaintiff's claim that the June 28 letter violated the FDCPA. There was nothing confusing or misleading about the increased debt amount stated therein as even the most unsophisticated consumer would understand that credit card debt accrues interest. The court granted partial summary judgment favoring plaintiff on his claim that the March 26 letter violated the FDCPA's "amount of debt" provision. The letter's debt amount language violated the FDCPA because it was "reasonably susceptible to an inaccurate reading." Plaintiff was awarded $500 in statutory damages under15 USC §1692k(a)(2)(A).