Judge Denies Class Action Certification in FDCPA Spanish Letter Case Against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

Yesterday, a Federal Judge in Virginia denied a motion to certify a class action case against an arm of publicly traded debt buyer PRA Group (PRAA). The lawsuit, Dykes v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA) (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10308, Case number: 1:15cv110) was originally filed exactly one year earlier, on January 28, 2015.

Plaintiff claimed that PRA violated the FDCPA by sending her three (3) debt collection notices in Spanish rather than English. Plaintiff never indicated she preferred to receive correspondence in Spanish and she does not speak or understand Spanish. The Plaintiff sought class certification for a class defined as follows:

All consumers with Virginia addresses, who: (a) within one year of January 28, 2015 (b) were sent a debt collection letter in Spanish by Defendant PRA in a form materially identical or substantially similar to the letter attached to Plaintiff’s Complaint as Exhibit A; and (c) the letter was not returned by the postal service as undelivered.

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