- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Is there a difference between the words “of” and “after?” A federal court says no, at least not in a dispute between a Detroit man and a debt collector.

Carl Wallace sued Diversified Consultants. He accused the company of violating a federal law because of the wording of a debt notice related to a $2,000 phone bill.

Wallace was asked to respond within 30 days “of” receiving a notice. But the law covering debt collections says people have 30 days to respond “after” getting a notice.

So what? Indeed, that’s what an appeals court said Wednesday in affirming the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit in Detroit federal court. The court doubts that anyone who got the letter was confused.

Attorney Brian Parker of Bingham Farms was seeking thousands of dollars.