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CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.32 -- Communications with the Debtor -- "Least Sophisticated Consumer" Test

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In Scott v. Credit Consulting Servs., No. H049063, 2022 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5210, at *21-24 (Aug. 23, 2022), the Court of Appeal in an unpublished decision reversed summary judgment granted by the trial court in favor of the debt collector. The misleading character of a covered communication is material if it could "cause the least sophisticated debtor to suffer… Read More

In Koehn v. Delta Outsource Group, Inc., No. 19-1088 (7th Cir. September 29, 2019), here, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had had enough with ingenious interpretations of dunning letters to create a purported violation of the FDCPA. An unsophisticated consumer is “uninformed, naïve, or trusting,” Veach v. Sheeks, 316 F.3d 690, 693 (7th Cir. 2003), but nonetheless… Read More

In Davis v. Hollins Law, 2016 WL 4174747, at *4–5 (9th Cir. 2016), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a debt collector's identification of itself in a  voicemail message complied with the FDCPA because a least sophisticated debtor would have known who the call was from in light of prior settlement discussions between the debtor and… Read More

In Jensen v. Pressler & Pressler, 2015 WL 3953754, at *1 (C.A.3 (N.J.),2015), the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the FDCPA's prohibition against false statements requires materiality, and that such standard is baked into the "least sophisticated consumer" rule.  The facts were as follows. Paula Jensen defaulted on a Bank of America credit card, and her debt… Read More

In De Armas v. Financial Corp. of America, --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2014 WL 4922373 (S.D.Fla. 2014), Judge Martinez found that a debt collector did not violate the FDCPA by failing to give validation notices in Spanish, or when the debt collector included instructions in Spanish for Spanish speakers to call the debt collector.  In Ehrich v. I.C. Sys., Inc., 681 F.Supp.2d 265 (E.D.N.Y.2010), the District… Read More

In Gonzales v. Arrow Financial Services, LLC, --- F.3d ----, 2011 WL 4430844 (9th Cir. 2011), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that a debt collector’s dunning letters violated the FDCPA, and that recovery could be awarded under both the Rosenthal Act and the FDCPA.    In 2002, Arrow purchased a portfolio of debts owed to health… Read More

On July 3, 2008, Judge Conti ruled in Cruz v. MRC Receivables, Inc. -- F.Supp.2d -- 2008 WL 2627143 (N.D.Cal. 2008) on a debt collector's summary judgment motion in an FDCPA claim alleging that inclusion of the Notice of potentially adverse credit reporting required by California Civil Code § 1785.26 and 15 U.S.C. 1681s-2(a)(7)(A)(i) constituted an unfair collection tactic because… Read More