Borucki v. Vision Fin. Corp., No. 13-2297 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs received letters from defendants that stated: Unless you notify this office within 30 days after receiving this notice that you dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, this office will assume this debt is valid. If you notify this office within 30 days from receiving this notice, this office will obtain verification of the debt or obtain a copy of the judgment and mail you a copy of such judgment or verification. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C 1692g(a) requires the debt collector to include “a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector” and a “statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.” Plaintiffs claimed noncompliance because the notice omits the phrase “that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed.” One letter referred to “your just debt;” the recipient alleged that the phrase suggests that the debt’s validity has been confirmed. Four trial courts dismissed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that any written request for verification constitutes a dispute for purposes of the Act. The reference to “just debt” was mere puffery.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on February 5, 2014.