Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC obtains pro-consumer ruling from Third Circuit Court of AppealsJuly 10, 2019
Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC obtained a reversal of a New Jersey federal court ruling dismissing a complaint over an October 2017 letter the plaintiff received from Lyons Doughty & Veldhuis PC, which said the firm represented Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., and identified that company as the "assignee" of three other entities.
The panel found that the term "assignee" is a legal term that would not necessarily help the least sophisticated consumer understand the relationships between the parties listed.
"We thus have significant concerns about whether the least sophisticated consumer would understand the term 'assignee' at all, much less what role it signifies for the entity giving versus receiving the assignment," the Third Circuit said.
"Even to a sophisticated consumer," the letter could lead to different interpretations, the panel said.
"Thus, the letter’s reference to three other entities, as well as its 'assignee' language, 'overshadowed' the creditor’s identity. . . . Therefore, assuming the factual allegations are true and viewing them in a light most favorable to [the plaintiff], the letter fails to disclose the creditor to whom the debt is owed and thus violates § 1692g(a)(2)’s creditor-identification requirement," the court wrote.