The Baltimore City Circuit Court ordered that Las Vegas-based debt buyer LVNV Funding, LLC (LVNV) pay $38 million to split among 1,590 individuals. This judgment is by far the largest in Maryland against a debt collector. Although they will have to disburse the settlement among numerous consumers, two, in particular, brought the case to trial.
Larry Finch and Kurt Dorsey filed the class action suit alleging that LVNV was not certified as a debt collector when they obtained default judgments against them in 2009. Finch and Dorsey pursued the lawsuit seeking justice for themselves as well as “Those persons sued by LVNV in Maryland state courts from October 30, 2007 through February 17, 2010 against whom LVNV obtained a judgement for an alleged debt, interest or costs, including attorney’s fees in its favor in an attempt to collect a consumer debt.”
The allegations in the class action suit were as follows:
- LVNV illegally collected debt as they were not licensed as a debt collection agency.
- LVNV’s collection efforts violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act and the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act.
- The affidavits used to obtain judgments against Dorsey and Finch were irregular.
The plaintiffs also referenced a decision made in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in 2013 that upheld that judgments obtained by an unlicensed debt collector were void. LVNV continued to pursue debt collection through mid-2016. The final ruling of $38 million consisted of “all judgment sums, costs, and pre and post-judgment interest it has collected” for all afflicted persons.
Third-Party Debt Collection Mistakes
Third-party debt collectors or debt buyers are companies that purchase charged-off debts from creditors. They have the option to resell the account or pursue debt collection internally. The issue arises when debt buyers attempt to obtain judgments against debtors. Many third-party collection agencies try to sue debtors for debt that is no longer pursuable. This is so as the statute of limitations on the debt has expired in many cases.
Another common mistake is having a “lack of standing.” “Standing” refers to the entities’ legal ability to sue an individual for outstanding debt. Many debt buyers have a “lack of standing” as they aren’t licensed in particular states. Like Maryland, Florida is one of 21 regulatory states and territories that require debt buyers to obtain a specific license to collect on a debt within that jurisdiction.
Do you believe that a debt buyer is unjustly pursuing a debt from you? Do they call frequently demanding payment or even threaten you with jail time? You may be entitled to substantial compensation. The Florida debt harassment attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi have years of experience seeking justice for debtors whose rights were infringed upon and we can help you. Debt collectors will stop at nothing to collect funds, even if that means harassing you into debt repayment. Put an end to the calls today! Contact us at 833-JIBRAEL for a free case evaluation and let Jibrael fight for you!