Lavallee v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC
This case involves the question of whether a debt collector complied with the requirement in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that it, under certain conditions, "send the consumer a written notice" (often called a validation notice) that sets forth certain consumer’s rights under the Act. The debt collector sought to comply with that requirement by sending the consumer emails containing a link to an Internet-connected server from which the consumer could purportedly obtain the validation notice. The trial court concluded that, under the circumstances presented here, the debt collector did not "send" the consumer the validation notice. The debt collector appealed the case to the Seventh Circuit and argued, among other things, that an electronic version of a validation notice satisfies the FDCPA’s requirement that it send the consumer a "written notice." The Bureau’s brief argued that the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (or E-SIGN Act) applies to electronic versions of validation notices. The brief also argued that, absent a regulatory exemption, electronic versions of validation notices cannot be used to satisfy the "written notice" requirement in the FDCPA unless the consumer consents and other E-SIGN Act requirements are met.