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THE FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HAS RULED THAT THE SENDING OF A COLLECTION LETTER TO AN UNSOPHISTICATED CONSUMER ON A TIME-BARRED DEBT, WITHOUT REVEALING THAT THE DEBT IS JUDICIALLY UNENFORCEABLE, CAN VIOLATE THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (“FDCPA”).
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 8, 2016, issued its opinion in Daugherty v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., et al., concluding that the sending of a debt collection letter on a time-barred claim to an unsophisticated consumer without revealing that the claim is judicially unenforceable can violate the FDCPA. This means that the debtor can file suit against the collection agency and seek the statutory damages and attorney’s fees that are allowed under the FDCPA.
The collection agency in Daugherty, Convergent Outsourcing, sent correspondence to the Debtor, Roxanne Daugherty, offering to settle a claim in the amount of $32,405.92 for a one-time payment of $3,240.59. The correspondence did not acknowledge that the claim was time-barred and thus judicially unenforceable. The failure to disclose the fact that the claim was judicially unenforceable violates the FDCPA prohibition against “the false representation of the character or legal status of any debt.”
If you have received correspondence from a collector that you believe relates to a time-barred claim, which typically means in the State of Texas a debt that was incurred more than four years prior to the attempted collection without any intervening payments or collection attempts, then give me a call at (800) 867-1583 and we can discuss whether you might have a potential claim against the collector.
As always, any opinions expressed on this website are just that, opinions. Your individual situation might be different than outlined above, so it is probably best that you give me a call to discuss your individual situation. I pride myself on giving you the answers to your questions that are based on your individual circumstances.