Parker v. Midland Credit Management

Class Action Complaint Alleging Unlawful Debt Collection In bad form: Is a form “Notice of Assignment” letter that is required under Florida law sent in violation of the FDCPA?
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July 12, 2012 - PRLog -- June 6, 2012 − Midland Credit Management (MCM) is a debt collection agency that is collects debts on behalf of debt buyers or “assignees,” acquired after an original creditor charges off a debt.  Communications between debt collectors and consumers are regulated at both the state and federal level, specifically by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) at the federal level, and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA). These statutes are generally designed to “eliminate abusive debt col¬lection practices by debt collectors,” while “insur[ing] that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt col¬lection practices are not competitively disadvantaged” (as stated in the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.).

MCM communicated with Belinda Parker—as well as potentially over one thousand other consumers across the State of Florida—sending a “notice of assignment” of debt, as required under the FCCPA. More specifically, MCM sent these consumers form letters notifying the consumers that MCM would eventually be collecting the debt now owned by their client, Midland Funding.  MCM stated in the form letter, however, that it was not attempting to collect the debt at that time, and that no collection efforts would occur until at least 30 days after this form letter was sent. The form letter also provided the name of the original creditor and the balance due, two pieces of information that were required by the FDCPA.  
Upon information and belief, this form letter was MCM’s initial contact with these Florida consumers.  It is Parker’s position that, as the initial communication being sent to a her in connection with the collection of a debt, the form letter must contain specific information required under to Section 1692e(11) and 1692g(a) of the FDCPA. These debt collection statutes generally provide as follows:

      •Section 1692e(11) requires that in an initial communication sent in connection with the collection of  debt, a debt collector must disclose that “the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose.” Again, Section 1692e(11) is often referred to as the “mini-Miranda” requirement of the FDCPA because of its similarities to a criminal suspect’s Miranda rights;  consumers must be adequately and timely notified of their rights as it relates to this new, third-party debt collector  early on in the debt collection process or the potential for consumer harm grows.  

      •Section 1692g(a) also requires that a debt collector send a consumer certain written notices within five days after the initial communication sent in connection with the collection of a debt regarding validation of the debt.  Generally, the notice must advise the consumer of the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and the consumer’s rights to dispute the validity of the debt, to request verification of the debt, and to request the identity and contact information of the original creditor.

MCM, in violation of FDCPA, Section 1692g(a), sent no such written notification to Parker or any of the hundreds of other consumers who received MCM’s form letter.

Parker and the other recipients of MCM’s form letter have filed a class action against MCM for its violations of the FDCPA.  United State District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, Case No. 8:12-cv-110-T-30TBM.  Ian R. Leavengood, of Leavengood, Nash, Dauval & Boyle, P.A. one of the lead attorneys handling this consumer class action, recognizes the case’s significance to individual consumers’ throughout the State of Florida.  Said Leavengood, “It is critical that Florida consumers are given notice of their full rights as provided under the FDCPA.  And while this case has been termed a ‘case of first impression’ in the Eleventh Circuit, we feel strongly that the FDCPA notices should have been included in MCM’s notice of assignment letter that was sent to Parker and other Floridians.”


About Leavengood & Nash

Leavengood, Nash, Dauval & Boyle, P.A. is a boutique litigation firm headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, with satellite offices in Tampa, Clearwater, and Sarasota, Florida.  Leavengood & Nash traces its roots back to 1972 and have served consumers in the Tampa Bay Area and throughout the State of Florida for over three generations.  Leavengood & Nash specializes in consumer and commercial bankruptcies, having filed thousands of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions over the last four decades.  Leavengood & Nash also represents small businesses and individuals in Debt Settlement, Creditor Harassment, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense, Criminal & DUI, Business Disputes & Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury & Accidents, Estate Planning & Asset Protection, Insurance Disputes and Mediation & Dispute Resolution.  For more information about the firm, its attorneys and their credentials, please visit or call its managing shareholder, Ian R. Leavengood, at (727) 327-3328.
Source:Leavengood & Nash
Tags:Florida Attorney, Florida Lawyer, Bankruptcy Lawyer
Location:St. Petersburg - Florida - United States
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