Alert February 26, 2008

Federal Appeals Court Holds that FDCPA Requires Mailing, not Receipt, of Dispute Notice Within 30 Days

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a consumer need only mail notice disputing a debt within 30 days of a debt collector’s validation letter to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The class action complaint alleged, among other things, that defendant’s validation letter violated FDCPA by stating that defendant must receive plaintiff’s notice of dispute within 30 days. The Court held that under FDCPA’s stated goal of consumer protection, the statute should not be interpreted to shorten the time in which a debtor can dispute a debt, and therefore he need only have mailed his written notice of dispute within 30 days of receipt of the validation letter. As defendant’s validation letter expressly required that it receive any notice of dispute within 30 days, the Court found the validation letter violated FDCPA. Click here for a copy of Jacobson v. Healthcare Financial Services, Inc., No. 06-3147-cv (2d Cir. Feb.  14, 2008).