In Hahn v. Triumph Partnerships, LLC, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the FDCPA’s prohibition against “false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt” under 15 U.S.C. 1692e requires materiality. In ruling on whether the debt collector had properly disclosed the debt and attendant interest, the Court of Appeals explained:
We do not see any reason why materiality should not equally be required in an action based on section 1692e. The statute is designed to provide information that helps consumers choose intelligently, and by definition immaterial information neither contributes to that objective (if the statement is correct) nor undermines it (if the statement is incorrect). See Peters v. General Service Bureau, Inc. 277 F.3d 1051, 1056 (8th Cir. 2002); cf Evory v. RIM Acquisitions Funding, L.L.C. 505 F.3d 769, 776-77 (7th Cir. 2007). This is the upshot of our conclusion in Wahl (slip. op. 6) that, “[i]f a statement would not mislead the unsophisticated consumer, it does not violate the [Act] — even if it is false in some technical sense.” A statement can not mislead unless it is material, so a false but non-material statement is not actionable.