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Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FDCPA Suit Over Failure to Use Precise Statutory Validation Language

  • Written by Steel Rose

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit because a debt collector’s failure to use the FDCPA’s precise language in its validation notice is not a violation of the FDCPA.

In Chaperon v. Sontag & Hyman, P.C., Chaperon alleged violations of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g and § 1692e related to a notice she received regarding past-due rent. Specifically, she alleged that, though the notice stated she could dispute the debt, it did not explicitly state that she could dispute a portion of the debt. The language in the notice stated that Sontag & Hyman was a law firm that “has been retained to collect a debt consisting of rent arrears totaling $12,209.26”; that Chaperon’s landlord claimed she owed “rent arrears as specified”; and that she had “30 days from receipt of this notice to dispute the debt.”

Chaperon argued the “least-sophisticated consumer” who receives such a validation notice would be confused and unsure as to whether s/he was able to dispute a portion of the debt. She further argued that, because the notice did not state that she had a right to dispute a portion of the debt, the notice was misleading in violation of § 1692e.

The Second Circuit held that a debt collector’s failure to use the FDCPA’s precise language in its validation notice is not a violation.To read more, click here

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