Moral of the Story: Web Payment Portals Need Time-Barred Debt Disclosures if Applicable

Every now and then, a court decision will come out that serves as a good reminder to double-check what systems and processes a company has in place. Odneal v. Midwest Recovery Sys, LLC, No. 2:19-cv-431 (N.D. Ind. April 24, 2020) is one of them, at least if your company collects on time-barred accounts.

In Odneal, the plaintiff noticed an old debt on his credit report. Curious to get more info, he went to the debt buyer's website where he was directed to a payment portal. While the payment portal included the mini-Miranda disclosure, it did not include a disclosure that the plaintiff's debt was time-barred—which it was.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging FDCPA violations for lack of the disclosure and argued that while he did not make a payment, he had to retain counsel due to a fear that his credit will be damaged.

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