Circuit Denies Immunity To Contractor |In Class Action Over Bad Check Program

     ATLANTA (CN) – A contractor hired to run a bad check diversion program for the State Attorney’s Office is not immune from a class action accusing it of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the 11th Circuit ruled.

     Bad check writers claimed they received letters from the American Corrective Counseling Services demanding payment and other fees, including $75 for an eight-hour class that the plaintiffs either participated in or faced criminal prosecution. Plaintiffs’ lawsuit listed several alleged violations of the FDCPA, such as making empty threats and creating the false impression that civil collections are criminally enforceable. 
     The panel unanimously reversed and remanded the grant of immunity to the ACCS, saying the company’s a private, for-profit corporation acting as an independent contractor for the government. See ruling in Rosario v. American Corrective Counseling Services.

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