(a) The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from overzealous debt collectors. Under this Act, debt collectors are ones that work for an authorized collection agency. These debt collectors cannot contact the consumer at work if the employer objects, contact the debtor at inconvenient times, contact third parties, or harass or intimidate the debtor.
Although CI can claim they are not an authorized collection agency, they are representing themselves as such to debtors. CI also applies usury fees to their collections. Furthermore, they are harassing the debtors by calling them names and calling them frequently. The court will probably will probably find CI in violation of the act.
(b) The FDCPA protects all consumers from possibly unsavory practices of collection agencies. Debtors who have debts that are sent to collection agencies are not necessarily dead beats, nor should they be characterized as such. Some individuals face extenuating circumstances that may make it difficult to pay back debts, despite their best efforts.
Yes , the filing of the initial suit should be considered "communication."
When a collection agency contacts a debtor for debt payment, they must provide the debtor with a validation notice within five days of that initial contact. The notice must allow the debtor thirty days to dispute the debt and to request written verification from the collection agency.
Here, the requirement of the validation notice was triggered when the initial debt suit was filed. Since the collection agency failed to provide the validation notice, they could be liable for damages.
Analysis whether the plaintiffs still be able to bring a deceptive advertising claim against Tobacco Company:
If a reasonable individual would be misled by an advertisement, this is considered deceptive advertising. When an advertisement purports to be based on facts or presents itself to seemingly be based on facts and a consumer makes decisions based on this characterization, then the company can be charged with deceptive advertising.
In this case, the company may be able to advertise the product. However, they are not allowed to mislead consumers in an effort to coerce them into purchasing the product. Thus, the plaintiffs can bring a charge of deceptive advertising against the company.