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Bartlett v. Heibl
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
128 F.3d 497 (1997)
Credit-card company Micard hired attorney John Heibl (defendant) to collect a $1,700 debt from Curtis Bartlett (plaintiff). Heibl sent Bartlett a dunning letter (i.e., an overdue-payment notice) informing Bartlett that if Bartlett wanted to resolve the debt-collection matter before legal action was commenced against him, Bartlett needed to either pay $316 or contact Micard to make arrangements for payment within one week of receiving the letter. The letter also notified Bartlett that he had 30 days to dispute the debt and that if he did so, Heibl would mail Bartlett a verification of the debt. The letter provided that a lawsuit could be commenced against Bartlett any time before the expiration of the 30 days. Bartlett received Heibl’s letter but did not read it. Bartlett subsequently sued Heibl for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), asserting that Heibl’s letter violated the FDCPA by presenting the information about Bartlett’s rights in a confusing way. The district court entered judgment for Heibl, and Bartlett appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.J.)
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