NOT MISLEADING: Court Holds Debt Collector’s Use of Local Area Code Did Not Violate FDCPA
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
caller ID Fair Debt Collection Practices Act FDCPA

Another quick one for you.

Much is being made right now about so-called “local touch” DIDs. Some courts consider it spoofing (it isn’t). And in some instances it is leading to lawsuits.

Well in Wilson v. Radius, 2023 WL 6388786 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 29, 2023) the Court held the use of a local caller ID by an out-of-state debt collector did not violate the FDCPA’s restriction on misleading conduct in the collection of a debt:

Next, Wilson argues that summary judgment should not be granted in RGS’s favor because the local area code did influence her decision to return RGS’s calls. What is more, she argues, the use of a local area code might influence an unsophisticated consumer’s decision to answer or return a debt collector’s call. But, as discussed, there is no support for the proposition that every potential decision made by a consumer falls within § 1692e. Wilson’s argument is especially tortured in light of her testimony that she would have answered the call if it came from a non-local area code but would not have called back. As before, Seventh Circuit caselaw weighs in favor of misleadingness meaning, for this purpose, misleading a consumer in terms of whether to pay a debt, not whether to take minor administrative steps ancillary to payment. For these reasons, even if she had standing, the Court would find that Wilson has not established a genuine question of material fact as to whether RGS violated § 1692e.

That’s a nice win and reminds everyone that the FDCPA–like the TCPA–has limits, even if it is a consumer protection statute.


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