Riggs v. Prober & Raphael

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 06-08-2012
  • Case #: 10-17220
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Callahan for the Court; Circuit Judges Wallace and Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

A validation notice expressly requiring a consumer to dispute her debt in writing violates § 1692g(a)(3) of the FDCPA.

Joann Riggs brought suit against Prober & Raphael, a debt collection law firm, and Dean Prober, Esq. (collectively “Prober”), alleging that their debt collection practices violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). After Riggs borrowed money to purchase a car and missed three payments, the lending bank repossessed the car and employed Prober to recover the remaining funds from Riggs. Riggs claimed that Prober’s validation notice required that she dispute her debt in writing, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(3) and California Civil Code § 1788.17. Accordingly, Riggs argued that Prober misrepresented her right to dispute her debt orally. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit found that the validation letter implicitly, not expressly, required Riggs to dispute her debt in writing. Only express requirements for written disputes are barred under the FDCPA. Thus, the Court found that the notice did not violate § 1692g(a)(3). AFFIRMED.

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