Published September 11, 2012 on Carey & Danis
In the lawsuit, Easterling v. Collecto, Inc., a judge ruled last month that the debt collection company based in Massachusetts known as Collecto , Inc., used deceptive trade practices in an effort to convince the plaintiff, Berlincia Easterling, that her student loans could not be dissolved when filing for bankruptcy. The debt collection company sent Easterling a letter with language stating that her student loan debt was nondischargeable, and thus, must still be paid to Collecto, Inc.
A U.S. Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the methods used by Collecto, Inc. in an effort to collect student loan debt payments from Easterling proved misleading, and as a result, stand in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The federal court stated in the ruling that student loan debt can be discharged if the plaintiff can demonstrate that continuing payments of student loan debt after filing for bankruptcy would significantly impact the debtor’s standard of living, driving it below what is termed a “minimal” standard of living. In response to this ruling, Easterling and her attorney will file a class action lawsuit against Collecto, Inc., as information has surfaced that the debt collection company sent out letters similar to the one Easterling received to approximately 181 individuals.
This federal court decision protects the consumer, in this case the consumer as debtor. Though Easterling has the onus of presenting convincing evidence in her forthcoming class action lawsuit, she has been given the opportunity to fight deceptive trade practices that undermine consumer protection and federal laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you feel that you or someone you love has been the victim of unfair, deceptive, and misleading trade practices, contact an attorney at Carey Danis & Lowe. Our experienced trial lawyers will provide you with a free legal consultation, and can assist you in determining if you have a case.