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Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are prohibited from using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” A 2018 case clarified that the language often used by debt collectors when sending form dunning letters may, however, constitute an FDCPA violation depending on the circumstances. Form dunning letters are notices stating that a debt collector may be required to report a debt discharge to the IRS.

The Plaintiffs in the case had several defaulted debts, none of which were more than $600. The debt collector sent the Plaintiffs a series of dunning letters with an offer to accept less than the amount that was owed to make sure the debt would be resolved. The U.S. Treasury Department has certain rules where debt collectors are required to report debt discharges if the debt is more than $600.

The letters sent by the debt collector stated that the forgiveness of the debt would be reported to the IRS based on its regulations. As a result, the Plaintiffs filed suit alleging that because the debts were no more than $600, the language mentioning the IRS forgiveness/discharge was “false and misleading”. Ultimately, a court determined that the language was indeed misleading and served as a “viable claim” for an FDCPA violation.

To read more about the case, please visit

This update is by Abril Law, a law firm comprised of attorneys Jorge M. Abril and Sinead Baldwin. Our services include medical insurance reimbursement, commercial litigation, and more. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment with a collection attorney Miami, please call 305-373-0901 to speak with one of our attorneys. We look forward to working with you.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.