In Grant-Fletcher v. Brachfeld Law Group, PC, 2012 WL 2523094 (D.Md. 2012), Judge Nickerson held that a debt collector telling a consumer, after the 30 day validation period expired, that the consumer could not dispute the debt constitute a false representation. The facts were as follows. This action arises from communications made in connection with Defendant’s efforts to collect debts allegedly accrued by Plaintiff’s use of a “Salute Gold Card” credit card. The communications include a phone conversation that took place on July 13, 2011, and a letter faxed from Defendant to Plaintiff dated July 14, 2011. Plaintiff alleges that, on July 13, 2011, in response to prior communications, she called Defendant and spoke to a collection agent. Plaintiff alleges that the collection agent advised her that she could not dispute her debt, that if the Defendant reported the debt to the credit bureaus it would not report that the debt was disputed, and that if Plaintiff disputed the debt there would be adverse consequences to her credit. The next day, on July 14, 2011, Plaintiff received faxed correspondence from Defendant, a copy of which Plaintiff attached to the amended complaint. The fax communication included a coversheet and letter. The coversheet stated that it was from Christopher Johnson at the Brachfeld Law Group, located at an address in Columbus, Ohio. The letter was printed on letterhead for “The Brachfeld Law Group, PC,” and confirmed that Plaintiff had an outstanding balance on her Salute Gold Card and that Defendant was attempting to collect the debt. The letter was signed by Dana Callahan–Conley, whose title is listed as “Collections Manager.” Judge Nickerson found the (mis)representations actionable.
In her complaint, Plaintiff generally alleges that the statements made by Defendant during the July 13, 2011, phone conversation violated §§ 1692e and 1692f of the FDCPA because they were false, decep-tive, misleading, and unfair. Specifically, she alleges that the statements were misleading because De-fendant told her that she could not dispute the debt, that it would not report the debt as disputed to the credit bureau if it reported it to the credit bureau, and that, if reported, there would be adverse consequences to her credit. Am. Compl. At ¶¶ 11–14, 26–28. Despite this factual content, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has not provided sufficient details and “offer [s] no underlying facts supporting her bald contention” that Defendant has violated §§ 1692e and 1692f. ECF No. 17–1 at 4. The Court disagrees. Plaintiff has alleged a date on which she spoke to a collections agent, the name and extension of that agent, and the content of the conversation, which included a statement that Plaintiff could not dispute the debt. This statement, which at this stage of the proceedings the Court will assume was made as alleged, is false and misleading because Plaintiff’s right to dispute her debt does not expire. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(c) (“failure of a con-sumer to dispute the validity of a debt … may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability”); Velderman v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., No. 1:04–CV–269, 2005 WL 2405959 (W.D.Mich. Sept.29, 2005) (“a debt collector’s statement violates the FDCPA if the statement misleads a consumer ‘into believing that if the debt is not disputed within 30 days, federal law, rather than just the debt collector, will assume the debt to be valid and owing.’) (quoting McCabe v. Crawford & Co.., 272 F.Supp.2d 736, 745 (N.D.Ill.2003)). ¶ The Court can infer, based on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, that there was no reason why Plaintiff could not dispute her debt at the time of the July 13, 2011, conversation. Therefore, as the least sophisticated consumer would be misled by the false statements uttered by the collections agent, Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to maintain a claim under §§ 1692e(10) FN1 and 1692f, and the Motion will be denied with respect to these sections of the FDCPA.