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AFNI Debt Collection and Reporting to Credit Bureaus FDCPA Class Action

The letter sent to plaintiff Joanne Pacheco by debt collector AFNI, Inc. is confusing in a number of respects, the complaint for this class action claims, to the point where the letter violates provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

The class for this action is all similarly situated persons in New York from whom AFNI has attempted to collect a consumer debt, while stating that it may report information concerning such debt to credit bureaus, from November 17, 2016 to the present.

The FDCPA was passed to prevent the abuse of consumers and to prevent debt collectors who use bad behavior from having an advantage over those who use acceptable methods. The FDCPA specifies what may and may not be put into a debt collection letter like the one attached to this complaint; and its success in meeting many of the requirements may be judged by the standard of whether the “least sophisticated consumer” would understand the letter correctly. 

According to the complaint, the complaint fails to make information about the debt and its validation clear. First, the debt collector must provide “the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed.” This letter merely says “Creditor: Sprint” which is insufficient, according to the complaint, because it does not make clear whether “Sprint” is the original or current creditor.

Also, the complaint claims, no entity registered with the New York State Department is called simply “Sprint,” but over one hundred entities begin their legal names with the word “Sprint.” The complaint claims that the letter is therefore unclear as to which “Sprint” company is owed.

Finally, the letter does not make clear that if the debtor disputes the debt or asks for verification, the debt collector must stop collection actions until the verification is provided. In fact, the third sentence of the letter reads, “We may report information about your account to credit bureaus.” In the next paragraph, the letter says that the debtor may dispute the debt if she contacts AFNI in the next thirty days, but it doesn’t clearly state that, if she does dispute it, AFNI may not report the debt to credit bureaus until it has provided her with validation or verification.

The complaint alleges that an unsophisticated consumer might fear that the debt would be reported immediately and might pay a debt she disputes or does not owe to protect her credit rating. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

AFNI Debt Collection and Reporting to Credit Bureaus FDCPA Complaint

November 17, 2017

The letter sent to plaintiff Joanne Pacheco by debt collector AFNI, Inc. is confusing in a number of respects, the complaint for this class action claims, to the point where it violates provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The letter is unclear as to who the current creditor is, the complaint says, and refers to the company listed as creditor as “Sprint” even though there are over one hundred companies registered in the state whose names begin with “Sprint” and none whose name is simply “Sprint.” Also, the complaint claims that it does not make clear that if Pacheco disputes the debt, no further actions will be taken until the company is able to verify or validate the debt. 

afni_debt_collection_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

AFNI Debt Collection and Reporting to Credit Bureaus FDCPA Complaint

November 17, 2017

The letter sent to plaintiff Joanne Pacheco by debt collector AFNI, Inc. is confusing in a number of respects, the complaint for this class action claims, to the point where it violates provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The letter is unclear as to who the current creditor is, the complaint says, and refers to the company listed as creditor as “Sprint” even though there are over one hundred companies registered in the state whose names begin with “Sprint” and none whose name is simply “Sprint.” Also, the complaint claims that it does not make clear that if Pacheco disputes the debt, no further actions will be taken until the company is able to verify or validate the debt. 

afni_debt_collection_complaint.pdf
Tags: FDCPA, Misleading or Confusing Debt Collection Letter