Warning to lawyers who do debt-collection work: Using the word “could” in a dunning letter could get you sued.

In its 10-page opinion in Brown v. Card Service Center, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a suit in which a debtor complained that a letter she received was deceptive because it told her that unless she made arrangements to pay within five days, the matter “could” result in referral of the account to an attorney and “could” result in “a legal suit being filed.”

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