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Court reverses ruling favoring debt collectors

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POSTED August 2, 2012 8:23 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has reversed a California ruling that favored debt collectors who send letters to a person's workplace.

The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals also took the case away from Sacramento federal Judge John Mendez because of his disparaging remarks.

Mendez ruled two years ago that a Southern California debt collector's custom of sending letters "in care of" employers did not violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

But the appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the letters have a high risk of unnecessarily stressing and embarrassing debtors.

Catherine Evon sued San Bernardino County debt collector Sidney Mickell for sending a collection letter to Evon "in care of" her place of employment. The letter was opened and read by various individuals.


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