Paul D.S. Edwards
Dear Mr. Edwards:
This is in response to your letters of May 29 and 30, 1996 concerning whether payment demands in several enclosed dunning letters "overshadow" the validation and dispute notices required by Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
You may be aware that the concept of "overshadowing" did not originate with the Commission or in Commission cases but grew out of a number of private suits where payment demands accompanied Section 809 disclosures. See Ost v. Collection Bureau, Inc., 493 F.Supp. 701 (D.N.D. 1980); Graziano v. Harrison, 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991); Miller v. Payco General American Credits, Inc., 943 F.2d 482 (4th Cir. 1991) et seq. Since the concept was created by the courts, it is not one about which we normally comment or issue staff opinions.
I would suggest, therefore, that you refer to the various court cases that have addressed the issue for guidance in determining whether the payment demands in the dunning letters you enclose "overshadow" Section 809 disclosures.
John F. LeFevre