UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580
May 29, 1997
S. Joshua Berger
AAA - 399, Caller Box 10001
Saipan, MP 96950
Dear Mr. Berger:
This is in reply to your letter of March 3, 1997, concerning several questions about
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (copy enclosed ). Our answers are as
- 1) Since the courts deem you to be a "debt collector," even though all you do
is file suit against the consumer, you must comply with Section 809(a) of the FDCPA,
i.e., you must provide the validation notice within five days of your initial
communication with the consumer, even if the communication is connected with the suit.
- 2) We interpret the "thirty-day period" as a period within which consumers
must dispute their debts in writing in order to avail themselves of their Section 809(b)
rights, but not as a "grace" period. Thus, we believe that there is nothing in
the Act that prevents you from filing suit during this period, so long as you do not make
any representations that contradict Section 809(b).
- 3) Because of Heintz v. Jenkins, all pleadings must be considered
"communications" if they convey "... information regarding a debt directly
or indirectly to any person through any medium."
I hope this answers your questions.
John F. LeFevre