Court threatens those who threaten you!

In February 2004, Elizabeth Brown received a letter from a collection agency which threatened to tke her to court if she did not settle her account in “five days” according to a recent article in The ABA Journal. She did not settle the account and the collection agency did not take her to court, So she took them to court.

She lost in lower court, but the appeals court (3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia) said that threatening legal action when no such action is actually intended is in violation of the Fair Debt Collections and Practices act which forbids “false and misleading statements.”

The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court where it is possible that the debt collector could be held to be on the hook for both damages and attorney’s fees.

In my experience, detb collectors engage in false and misleading statements all the time. For the most part they get away with it. It is good to see them get called up short at least once in a while!

For more information on Fair Debt Collection Act, click here.

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