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FDCPA Decision of the Day: Attorney’s Letterhead, Alone, Not a Threat to Sue

In today’s FDCPA Decision of the Day, a United States District Court for the District of New © SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.comJersey held that an attorney’s letterhead, standing alone, is not an implied threat of litigation.

The Plaintiff, a New Jersey resident, claimed that the defendant, a Georgia law firm, violated section 1692e(5) of the FDCPA (prohibiting “[a] threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken”) when it sent him a dunning letter. The basis for the claim was that the Georgia law firm could not file a lawsuit because none of its attorneys were licensed in New Jersey.

“It is well settled among District Courts that the mere sending of a letter by an attorney does not constitute a threat of litigation,” the court concluded in dismissing the complaint.

The decision is available below.

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Donald Maurice provides counsel to the financial services industry, successfully litigating matters in the state and federal courts in individual and class actions. He has successfully argued before the Third, Fourth and Eighth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals, and has represented the financial services industry before several courts including as counsel for amicus curiae before the United States Supreme Court. He counsels clients in regulatory actions before the CFPB, and other federal and state regulators and in the development and testing of debt collection compliance systems. Don is peer-rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, the worldwide guide to lawyers. In addition to being a frequent speaker and author on consumer financial services law, he serves as outside counsel to RMA International, on the governing Board of Regents of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and on the Governing Committee of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law. From 2014 to 2017, he chaired the ABA's Bankruptcy and Debt Collection Subcommittee.