Every week, courts around the United States issue decisions addressing aspects of civil UDAAP claims.
In an effort to illuminate the UDAAP standards, below is a sampling of some of this week’s UDAAP decisions on the meaning of unfair, deceptive, and abusive.
Allegations that a debt collector engaged in unfair practices under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) by initiating litigation against the plaintiff without first providing a notification of assignment of the debt stated a claim. The initiation of litigation by an unknown party against a debtor may be unfair under the FDCPA. Johnson v. LVNV Funding, LLC, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
A plaintiff did not state a cause of action for fraudulent acts under California’s Unfair Competition Law, where she alleged that a credit card company falsely promised her a fixed rate but then raised her rates. The court found that the company’s actions were authorized by a state statute, and therefore could not form the basis of an action under the Unfair Competition Law. In re Capital One Bank Credit Card Interest Rate, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Plaintiffs stated a claim for deceptive practices under North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act where they alleged that their mortgage lender misrepresented to them that it would refrain from foreclosing while they were engaged in loan modification review. The plaintiffs alleged that the lender sent them communications stating that it would not go ahead with a foreclosure sale without first denying their request for a modification, but then foreclosed without providing a notice of denial. Campbell v. Citimortgage, Inc., United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
DECEPTIVE AND ABUSIVE
A debt collector did not provide meaningful disclosure of his identity under section 1692d(6) of the FDCPA when he stated only his name and a phone number in a voicemail message. “Meaningful disclosure” requires something more than the caller’s name. However, a single telephone call is not sufficient to give rise to a violation of the statute, which prohibits the placement of plural “telephone calls.” The message also did not violate Section 1692e(11) of the FDCPA because it did not reference a debt and therefore was not a “communication” conveying information regarding a debt. Hagler v. Credit World Services, United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
A debt collector did not violate Sections 1692d, 1692e or 1692f of the FDCPA by failing to serve the plaintiff with summons at his correct address. The plaintiff did not allege that the debt collector filed an intentionally false affidavit of service or intentionally directed the sheriff to serve the plaintiff at the wrong address. Nor did pursuing a collection action without having proper service on the plaintiff constitute a violation of the FDCPA. Briscoe v. Cohen, United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
Note that this Weekly UDAAP Standards Report serves to highlight only some of the many weekly developments in the law around these standards.
Please feel free to contact me for more information or to discuss these cases or any other UDAAP developments.
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