A New Jersey woman has sued two collection companies in a class-action case alleging consumer fraud over allegations they misled Victoria's Secret cardholders about interest on debts.
Justina Luna filed the case against Allied Interstate LLC, alleging the agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because it failed to properly inform her about interest accruing on her defaulted Victorias Secret account when it sent her a collection notice in September 2012. Lunas Victorias Secret credit card account was sold to CVF, a buyer of defaulted debt. Luna names CVF as a defendant alleging the firm is vicariously liable for Allieds conduct as it acted as an agent of Allied.
Luna claims Allied sent her a letter stating it was attempting to collect on a $272.97 balance owed on her defaulted Victorias Secret credit card. The letter did not indicate that interest would continue to accrue on the unpaid principal balance, she said, but simply asserted she owed the stated amount. Luna is represented by Ryan L. Gentile of The Law Offices of Gus Michael Farinella PC.
By sending the letter Allied violated the FDCPA because the collection letter was subject to two interpretations because it did not explain that interest would continue to accrue on the unpaid principal balance and asserted that a fixed sum was owed, the complaint states.
The lawsuit, entitled Justina Luna v. Allied Interstate LLC et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. It states, "The FDCPA broadly prohibits unfair or unconscionable collection methods; conduct which harasses, oppresses or abuses any debtor; and any false, deceptive or misleading statements, in connection with the collection of a debt and requires certain disclosures.
In addition to the first letter, according to the lawsuit, Luna received another letter from Allied in June 2013, stating that it was still attempting to collect the balance on her Victorias Secret credit card. However, in this letter the amount owing was stated as $283.74. It was in this letter that Allied informed Luna that interest was accruing on the account.
The class-action lawsuit seeks to represent a putative class of New Jersey residents who received a letter from Allied that failed to inform them that interest would accrue on unpaid debts owed to Victorias Secret. The lawsuit is seeking statutory damages, litigation expenses, attorneys fees and other relief to be determined by the court.