Pennsylvania Complaint Against Penn Credit Corporation (PCC), Debt Collector for Violations of FDCPA by Harassing and Labeling Non-Debtor

October 12th, 2012 by krista

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

 JOHN DOE  

          Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

PENN CREDIT CORPORATION

 

          Defendant.

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  Civil Action No.

 Complaint

 

  1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer for Defendant’s violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (hereafter the “FDCPA”), the Pennsylvania Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act, 73 P.S. § 2270.1 et seq. (hereafter the “FCEUA”), constituting unfair and deceptive acts and practices under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. § 201-1, et seq., and other common law claims.  These laws prohibit debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive, and unfair collection practices.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  1.  Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d), 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1337, and supplemental jurisdiction exists for the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
  2. Venue lies in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

PARTIES

  1.  Plaintiff is an adult individual residing in Pennsylvania.
  2. Defendant Penn Credit Corporation  (“PCC”) is a business entity with its principal office located at 916 South 14th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104.  The principal purpose of Defendant is the collection of debts already in default using the mails and telephone, and Defendant regularly attempts to collect said debts.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. At all pertinent times hereto, Defendant was hired to collect a debt that belongs to Plaintiff’s son (hereafter the “debt”).
  2. At all times material and relevant hereto, Plaintiff did not owe the debt to and has never been legally obligated to pay the debt.
  3. The alleged debt at issue arose out of a transaction which was primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
  4. On or about June 15, 2011, Defendant began contacting Plaintiff at Plaintiff’s place of residence in an attempt to collect the debt with the intent to annoy, abuse, and harass such persons contacted.
  5. By way of example, Defendant contacted Plaintiff at his place of residence in an attempt to collect the debt with the intent to annoy, abuse, and harass Plaintiff on the following occasions: June 15, 2011, June 16, 2011, June 22, 2011, June 28, 2011, June 30, 2011, July 6, 2011, July 13, 2011, July 20, 2011, July 27, 2011, July 31, 2011, August 9, 2011, August 11, 2011, August 16, 2011, August 17, 2011, August 27, 2011, August 31, 2011, September 7, 2011, September 9, 2011, September 9, 2011, September 14, 2011, September 16, 2011, September 18, 2011, September 23, 2011, September 24, 2011, September 24, 2011, and September 25, 2011.
  6. On or about September 21, 2011 Plaintiff wrote and sent to the Defendant a cease and desist letter that disputed the alleged debt (A true and correct copy of Plaintiff’s cease and desist letter is attached hereto as Exhibit “A” and incorporated herein).
  7. Notwithstanding the above, by way of example, Defendant contacted Plaintiff at his place of residence in an attempt to collect the debt with the intent to annoy, abuse, and harass Plaintiff on the following occasions: September 28, 2011, September 30, 2011, October 1, 2011, October 2, 2011, October 3, 2011, October 3, 2011, October 4, 2011, October 8, 2011, October 18, 2011, October 18, 2011, October 20, 2011, October 22, 2011, October 26, 2011, and October 30, 2011.
  8. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating with any person other than the consumer in connection with the collection of any debt.
  9. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating with any person other than the consumer in connection with the collection of any debt on more than one occasion.
  10. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating with the consumer after the consumer notified Defendant in writing that Plaintiff wished for Defendant to cease further communication.
  11. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by causing a telephone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
  12. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt.
  13. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.
  14. Defendant knew or should have known that its actions violated the FDCPA. Additionally, Defendant could have taken the steps necessary to bring its agent’s actions within compliance of these statutes, but neglected to do so and failed to adequately review those actions to insure compliance with said laws.
  15. At all times pertinent hereto, Defendant was acting by and through its agents, servants and/or employees, who were acting within the scope and course of their employment, and under the direct supervision and control of the Defendant herein.
  16. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of Defendant as well as its agents, servants and/or employees, was malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, negligent and in wanton disregard for federal and state law and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.
  17. As a result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has sustained actual damages, including, but not limited to injury to Plaintiff’s reputation, invasion of privacy, damage to Plaintiff’s credit, out-of-pocket expenses, emotional and mental pain and anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, damage to reputation and pecuniary loss and will continue to suffer same for an indefinite time in the future, all to his great detriment and loss.

Count I – Violations of the FDCPA

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendant is a “debt collector” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) of the FDCPA.
  3. Plaintiff is a “consumer” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3) of the FDCPA.
  4. The above contacts between Defendant and Plaintiff were “communications” relating to a “debt” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(2) and 1692a(5) of the FDCPA.
  5. Defendant violated the FDCPA.  Defendant’s violations include, but are not limited to, violations of 15 U.S.C. §§1692b(3), 1692c(1), 1692c(b), 1692c(c), 1692d, 1692d(5), 1692e(10), 1692f  as evidenced by the following conduct:

 

  1. Communicating with persons other than the Plaintiff that Plaintiff owes a debt;
  2. Communicating with any person other than the consumer on more than one occasion;
  3. Communicating with the consumer in connection with the collection of any debt after being notified in writing that consumer wishes for Defendant to cease further communication;
  4. Engaging in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt;
  5. Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number; and
  6. Otherwise using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the alleged debt from Plaintiff.

 

  1. Defendant’s acts as described above were done with malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, wanton and negligent disregard for Plaintiff’s rights under the law and with the purpose of coercing Plaintiff to pay the alleged debt.
  2. As a result of the above violations of the FDCPA, Defendant is liable to Plaintiff in the sum of Plaintiff’s statutory damages, actual damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

COUNT II – VIOLATIONS OF THE FCEUA AND UTPCPL

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraph as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendant is a “debt collector” as defined by 73 P.S. § 2271.3 of the FCEUA.
  3. Plaintiff is a “consumer” as defined by 73 P.S. § 2271.3 of the FCEUA.
  4. The above contacts by Defendant are “communications” relating to a “debt” as defined by 73 P.S. § 2271.3 of the FCEUA.
  5. Defendant engaged in unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as defined by the UTPCPL, by attempting to collect the debt in violation of the FCEUA. Defendant’s violations of the FCEUA and UTPCPL include, but are not limited to, violations of 73 P.S. § 2270.4(a), as evidenced by the following conduct:

 

  1. Communicating with any person other than the consumer in connection with the collection of any debt
  2. Communicating with any person other than the consumer on more than one occasion;
  3. Communicating with the consumer in connection with the collection of any debt after being notified in writing that consumer wishes for Defendant to cease further communication
  4. Engaging in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt;
  5. Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number; and
  6. Otherwise using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the alleged debt from Plaintiff.

 

  1. Defendant’s acts as described above were done with malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, wanton and negligent disregard for Plaintiff’s rights under the law and with the purpose of coercing Plaintiff to pay the debt.
  2. As a result of the above violations of the FCEUA and UTPCPL, Plaintiff has suffered ascertainable losses entitling Plaintiff to an award of statutory, actual and treble damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

Count III – Invasion of Privacy

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendant’s conduct, including but not limited to continuing to contact Plaintiff after Plaintiff notified Defendant in writing to cease further communication constitutes and invasion of privacy.
  3. The conduct of Defendant was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, damages and harm to Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Defendant is liable to compensate the Plaintiff for the full amount of actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

JURY TRIAL DEMAND

  1. Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues so triable.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully prays that relief be granted as follows:

  1. Actual damages;
  2. Statutory damages;
  3. Punitive damages;
  4. Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees; and
  5. Such other and further relief as may be just and proper.

Respectfully Submitted,

FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.

BY:    /s/ Mark D. Mailman

MARK D. MAILMAN, ESQUIRE

GEOFFREY BASKERVILLE, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff

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