Last month, the Sixth Circuit in Macy et al v. GC Services Ltd Partnership unanimously upheld certification of a class under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), despite arguments that the named plaintiffs failed to establish Article III standing. The court held the plaintiffs established a concrete injury in fact, without alleging any additional harm beyond a procedural violation of the FDCPA, because they demonstrated that the allegedly incomplete disclosures in debt collection letters sent by GC posed a sufficient “risk of real harm” to the interests protected by the statute – namely, being misled by debt collectors about their rights under the FDCPA.
Plaintiffs Wilbur Macy and Pamela J. Stowe both received a letter from a debt collector that their credit card accounts had been referred to the debt collector for collection. Macy et al v. GC Services Ltd Partnership, No. 17-5593, 2018 WL 3614580, at *1 (6th Cir. Jul. 30, 2018). The plaintiffs alleged the letters violated the FDCPA because they did not inform the plaintiffs that the defendant debt collector was required to provide certain debt and creditor information, and to stop collection activities, only if the plaintiffs disputed their debts in writing. Id.