UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
May 13, 1994
Ms. Nellie Miller, Investigator
Dear Ms. Miller:
This is in reply to your letter of March 30 concerning the attached letter from Checkcare Systems. You believe that the following sentence, appearing immediately after the notice required by Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), adversely affects the consumer's rights and should be deleted: "The above statement is not an authorization to delay payment on a legal debt (checks written by you)."
We believe that if the debt is undisputed, there is nothing wrong with this statement. However, if the debt is disputed, e.g., if the check at issue was written for a service that was ultimately not rendered, then the statement may be misleading because it may tend to encourage consumers to pay disputed debts before verification is received. To this extent, it may contradict the message that the 809 notice is meant to convey. Since such contradictions have been held to violate the FDCPA, we do not disagree with your position.
I hope this has been helpful.
John F. LeFevre