Avila and the Intricacies of Civil Litigation Procedure Illustrated in Recent E.D.N.Y. Decision

A court decision popped up in the Eastern District of New York yesterday that outlines the intricacies—and, quite frankly, inefficiencies—of certain civil litigation procedures. Watson v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., No. 2:18-cv-2400 (E.D.N.Y. June 19, 2019) deals with Avila safe harbor language, or the lack thereof, in collection letters.


Midland Credit Management (Midland) sent an almost-identical collection letter to a group of plaintiffs. The letter listed a current balance and three discounted payment options, but no interest disclosure language since the accounts were not accruing interest. The first two discounted payment options provided specific dollar amounts and due dates to settle the account, but the third offered an option to set up monthly payments “as low as” a certain dollar amount.

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