Wisconsin District Court Dismisses Debt Collection Action, Holding that Total Amount Due Can Include Current Monthly Payment

On January 22, a district court in Wisconsin dismissed a debt collection action, with prejudice, on the basis that the inclusion of the current monthly payment in the “amount due now” was “not false, misleading, or confusing.” A copy of the Court’s decision can be found here.

Plaintiff Barbara Mollberg filed a complaint alleging that defendant Advanced Call Center Technologies, Inc. (“ACCT”) mailed her a letter in an attempt to collect a debt. The letter stated that the “total account balance” was $1,113 and that the “amount due now” was $234. ACCT used the term “amount due now” to mean the sum of the amount past due and the current monthly payment. The letter did not itemize those amounts. Mollberg alleged that the letter violated the law in two ways: (1) it included the current installment in the amount of the debt, and (2) the use of “amount now due” could confuse or mislead an unsophisticated consumer as to the character or legal status of the debt.