It is unlawful under the FDCPA to threaten suit if no such action is intended. The attorney cannot sue you in a state that is not your home state, under the FDCPA. Therefore, the threat is an empty one. Empty threats are punishable under the FDCPA!
It is unlawful for such a letter to be sent unless the lawyer reviews the letter? Do you believe that when thousands of letters issued the lawyer reviews each one? Where the correspondence is not reviewed by counsel, the correspondence violates the FDCPA.
Look at the letters you receive from lawyers. Were they signed by hand? If not, perhaps they were not reviewed by a lawyer. You may have a case under the FDCPA.
The collector’s threat to “make this go legal” or to “turn the matter over to the legal department” may violate the FDCPA where the collector has no legal department.
Do you think that the collector may be a collection operation only? If so, perhaps they have no legal department, i.e., the legal aspect is handled outside of the company. In this scenario is another violation of the FDCPA.
It is also a violation to send a letter stating that the collector will “recommend litigation” or “advise the creditor to sue.” Some of such correspondence has been found to violate the FDCPA because it, in essence purports to give legal advice to the creditor.
The collector is not permitted to give legal advice, unless, of course, if the collector is an attorney himself.