A federal lawsuit can proceed against a Virginia-based law firm that prepared and sent delinquent rent notices on behalf of landlord clients after a judge concluded that it acted as a debt collector for the purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The plaintiffs, Jennifer Lord, Toniraye Moss and Ebony Reddicks, who leased apartments in Roanoke and Hopewell, Virginia, raised both class actions and individual claims against Senex Law. In describing the firm’s business model, the plaintiffs claimed that a landlord first informed Senex of the list of accounts that were allegedly past due.