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Afni Discloses Debt Information to Third Parties FDCPA Class Action

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are not permitted to communicate with anyone other than the debtor (except in a few specific cases) in connection with the collection of the debt. The complaint for this class action alleges that Afni, Inc. uses third-party mail vendors to send debt collection letters, thereby revealing details about the debtor and debt to parties that have no right to know this information.

The complaint quotes the FDCPA on “Communication with third parties” about a debtor or debt. The quoted portion states that, except in certain specific situations, or with consent of the debtor or the “express permission” of a court, “a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.”

At issue in this class action is the use of mail vendors, who make a business of sending out debt collection form letters. According to the complaint, “[t]hese third-party mail vendors use information provided by debt collectors—such as a consumer’s name, the name of the creditor to whom a debt is allegedly owed, the name of an original creditor, and the amount of an alleged debt—to fashion, print, and mail debt collection letters to consumers.”

The plaintiff in this case, Nathaniel Johnson, received a debt collection letter on or about March 5, 2021. The letter identified a creditor account number and an account number for Afni, as well as Johnson’s home address. The complaint alleges that Afni did not print the letter.

How does the complaint claim to know? The return address on the letter is not Afni’s address. Instead, the complaint claims it is a post office box associated with a company called CompuMail, Inc. in Concord, California. CompuMail’s corporate offices are in Concord, California, where it offers printing and mailing services.

The complaint quotes CompuMail as saying, “For most of our history, we’ve specialized as a collection agency mail vendor.” It advertises various types of letters, including “Pressure Seal Mailers” which “keep the consumers guessing with this different type of correspondence.”

Johnson has never provided his consent to have his debt information shared with CompuMail, the complaint asserts.

The class for this action is all persons (a) with an Illinois or California address, (b) to which Afni, Inc. sent or caused to be sent a written debt collection communication (c) in connection with the collection of a consumer debt (d) that was printed or mailed by a third-party vendor (e) where Afni, Inc. gave the vendor information contained in the communication, between August 23, 2020 and the date the class is certified in this case.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Afni Discloses Debt Information to Third Parties FDCPA Complaint

August 23, 2021

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are not permitted to communicate with anyone other than the debtor (except in a few specific cases) in connection with the collection of the debt. The complaint for this class action alleges that Afni, Inc. uses third-party mail vendors to send debt collection letters, thereby revealing details about the debtor and debt to parties that have no right to know this information.

Afni Discloses Debt Information to Third Parties FDCPA Complaint

Case Event History

Afni Discloses Debt Information to Third Parties FDCPA Complaint

August 23, 2021

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are not permitted to communicate with anyone other than the debtor (except in a few specific cases) in connection with the collection of the debt. The complaint for this class action alleges that Afni, Inc. uses third-party mail vendors to send debt collection letters, thereby revealing details about the debtor and debt to parties that have no right to know this information.

Afni Discloses Debt Information to Third Parties FDCPA Complaint
Tags: FDCPA, Sharing Personal Information with Third Parties, Unlawful Debt Collection