Bivens v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 16-15119, ___ F.3d ___, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15519 (11th Cir. Aug. 17, 2017)

Sending mail to the wrong designated P.O. Box sinks consumer protection case.

The plaintiff had stopped paying his mortgage. He soon found in his mail a letter from a company claiming to be his new mortgage servicer and addressing the non-payment. The letter explained that servicing rights were transferred to the company, and it provided three different addresses: one for general correspondence, one for disputes/inquiries, and one for payment. The plaintiff responded in writing to the company, disputing its right to service the loan and requesting documentation that would prove who had standing to enforce payment. However, the plaintiff sent his letter to the general correspondence address, not the disputes/inquiries address. The company responded but did not provide all of the information requested, and the plaintiff sued. Despite the fact that the company actually received the plaintiff’s letter and responded to it, the Eleventh Circuit held that because his letter was not sent to the proper address, as clearly marked on the company’s original letter, the company had no duty to respond to the plaintiff’s dispute and request for information. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the company.


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