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Debt Collector Legal Threats Without California License FDCPA Class Action

Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to stop abusive and deceptive practices by third-party debt collectors. This class action brings an FDCPA suit against TD Bank (USA), NA and Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLP for threatening legal action against a debtor when its attorneys appeared not to be licensed in California.

In passing the FDCPA, the complaint says, Congress hoped “to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to ensure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not completely disadvantages, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.”

In this FDCPA case, the plaintiff, Rachel Altmann, lives in California. She allegedly incurred a consumer debt to TD Bank. At some point, TD Bank assigned Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik to collect the debt. The complaint alleges, on information and belief, that the Rausch firm is a law firm that operates in Wisconsin.

The Rausch firm sent Altmann a collection letter, dated January 29, 2021. The letter read, in part, “Please be advised that if we do not obtain payment or otherwise reach a satisfactory resolution of your account, we may proceed with the filing of a lawsuit against you to collect the balance owing on the above[-]referenced account.”

The letter also warned her that the lawsuit “could result in a judgment against you[] that would include the costs and necessary disbursements allowed by law…”

In other words, the complaint alleges, “Defendant TD Bank attempted to collect the alleged debt by causing its attorneys at Rausch to threaten filing a lawsuit against [Altmann], a California consumer.”

However, the complaint points out, “Defendant Rausch’s letter does not provide any information that the attorney signing the letter or any other associate within that law firm is a licensed attorney in California. … In addition, Defendant Rausch’s website does not provide any information that a single attorney within that law firm is licensed in California.”

Because of this, the complaint contends that the Rausch firm violated the FDCP “by engaging in conduct the natural consequences of which is to harass, oppress and abuse Claimants in connection with the collection of the alleged debt.”

The relevant section of the FDCPA on this kind of behavior, the complaint says, has been incorporated into a California law called the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA), meaning, the complaint alleges, that the Rausch firm as violated that law as well. Finally, the complaint claims the firm was negligent.

The class for this action is all persons with addresses in California

  • Who were sent a collection letter by the Rausch firm
  • That were substantially similar to the letter it sent to the plaintiff in this case
  • To collect on a consumer debt,
  • Which letter was sent on or after February 26, 2020,
  • Where the letter was not returned by the US postal service.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Debt Collector Legal Threats Without California License FDCPA Complaint

February 26, 2021

Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to stop abusive and deceptive practices by third-party debt collectors. This class action brings an FDCPA suit against TD Bank (USA), NA and Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLP for threatening legal action against a debtor when its attorneys appeared not to be licensed in California.

Debt Collector Legal Threats Without California License FDCPA Complaint

Case Event History

Debt Collector Legal Threats Without California License FDCPA Complaint

February 26, 2021

Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to stop abusive and deceptive practices by third-party debt collectors. This class action brings an FDCPA suit against TD Bank (USA), NA and Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLP for threatening legal action against a debtor when its attorneys appeared not to be licensed in California.

Debt Collector Legal Threats Without California License FDCPA Complaint
Tags: FDCPA, Unlawful Debt Collection, Unlicensed Attorney Letters