Earlier this month, the Third District Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s decision in favor of a debt collection agency. A debtor received a collection letter, which stated that if he had any questions or wanted to dispute the debt, he should “please call” their toll-free number. On the reverse side of the letter, the agency wrote that all disputes must be in writing. The court held that the letter could be reasonably read to have two or more different meanings, one of which was inaccurate. The court applied a “least sophisticated debtor” standard, and said from this perspective, the letter could be confusing.
All too often, collection agencies try to seem as though they are on the debtor’s side and have the debtor’s best interest in mind. They may send very polite, non-threatening letters in an attempt to trick a debtor into communicating with them and divulging information that is helpful to collection. Typically, an experienced debt settlement attorney can respond to collection agencies and reach a favorable settlement, while protecting their clients’ interests and privacy. We believe that anyone facing a debt collection agency should seek the help of an experienced debt settlement attorney immediately to properly protect their financial interests.