N.D. Illinois: “Competent Attorney” Standard Applies to Letter Sent to Consumer’s Attorney Even if Debt Discharged in Bankruptcy

In a recent case, Grajny v. Credit Control, LLC, No. 18-CV-2719 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 9, 2018), the Northern District of Illinois reviewed the standard of review that applies to communications with the plaintiff’s attorney. Following Seventh Circuit precedent, the court repeated that communications directly with a debtor’s attorney fall under the “competent attorney” standard -- not the “unsophisctated consumer” standard.

Factual and Procedural Background

At some point, plaintiff incurred a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy. After the debt was discharged, Credit Control, LLC sent a collection letter directly to the consumer’s attorney, Alicja Sroka. Credit Control addressed the letter to plaintiff “[care of] Alicja Srok[a] Law Srok[a].” Ms. Sroka was also the attorney that represented plaintiff in the bankruptcy action that discharged this debt.

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