Pennsylvania Complaint Against LVNV Funding for Suing Consumer on Stale Debt and Falsely Reporting Old Debt

February 22nd, 2012 by krista

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 Plaintiff A

 

          Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

LVNV FUNDING, LLC

 

          Defendant.

 

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     Civil Action No.

COMPLAINT

 

  1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer against Defendant LVNV Funding, LLC for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. (“FDCPA”), abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

THE PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff  is an adult individual and citizen of the Tennessee.
  2. Defendant LVNV Funding, LLC (“LVNV”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and has a principal place of business located at 15 South Main Street, Suite 600, Greenville, SC 29601.  The principal purpose of LVNV is the collection of debts using the mails and telephone, and LVNV regularly attempts to collect debts alleged to be due another.

JURISDICTION & Venue

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

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

  1. At all pertinent times hereto, LVNV was hired to collect a debt relating to a Providian credit card account whose date of first delinquency reaches back to the 1990’s (hereafter the “debt”).
  2. LVNV reported the debt on Plaintiff’s personal credit report with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  3. The debt at issue arises out of a series of transactions which were primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
  4. On or around October 27, 2009, LVNV caused a lawsuit to be filed against Plaintiff in the General Sessions Court of Macon County, Tennessee, Docket Number 09-0154 (the “Lawsuit”), seeking to collect the debt from Plaintiff.
  5. LVNV lacked probable cause to file the lawsuit because LVNV knew or should have known that any claim against Plaintiff was barred by the statute of limitations.
  6. LVNV’s filing of the lawsuit served no purpose other than to harass Plaintiff in order to force her to pay the debt.
  7. Plaintiff was thus forced to defend herself against the lawsuit.
  8. On or about January 19, 2010, Plaintiff secured a dismissal of the matter in connection with the lawsuit without objection from LVNV.
  9. Notwithstanding the above, LVNV continued to report the debt at issue to the credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion despite having known that the debt had first become delinquent more than seven and one half years ago. LVNV further failed to report the debt as disputed to the credit reporting agency Equifax.
  10. LVNV 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.
  11. LVNV acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by misrepresenting the amount, character or legal status of the debt.
  12. LVNV knew or should have known that their respective actions violated the FDCPA and state law as set forth below.  Additionally, LVNV could have taken steps necessary to bring it and its agents’ actions within compliance with these laws but neglected to do so and failed to adequately review those actions to insure compliance with said laws.
  13. At all times pertinent hereto, LVNV 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 LVNV herein.
  14. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of LVNV 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.

COUNT I –  VIOLATIONS OF THE FDCPA

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth

at length herein.

  1. LVNV is a “debt collector” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) of the FDCPA.
  2. Plaintiff is a “consumer” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3) of the FDCPA.
  3. The above contacts by LVNV were “communications” relating to a “debt” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(2) and 1692a(5) of the FDCPA.
  4. LVNV violated the FDCPA.  LVNV’s violations include, but are not limited to, violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e, 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(5), 1692e(8), 1692e(10), and 1692f, as evidenced by the following conduct:

(a)    Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt;

(b)   The false representation of the amount, character or legal status of a     debt;

(c)    Threatening to take legal action which cannot legally be taken;

(d)   Communicating or threatening to communicate credit information which is known to be false including the failure to mark as disputed; and

(e)    Otherwise using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the alleged debt from the Plaintiff.

  1. LVNV’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, LVNV is liable to Plaintiff in the sum of Plaintiff’s statutory damages, actual damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

COUNT II –  MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. LVNV wrongfully initiated a civil action against Plaintiff on or about October 2009.
  3. On or about January 10, 2010, said suit was terminated in Plaintiff’s favor.
  4. LVNV lacked probable cause to prosecute the action as described above.
  5. LVNV as such acted in a knowing, willful, reckless, malicious and/or grossly negligent manner for purposes other than adjudicating the claims for which the proceeding were  brought as described above.
  6. The conduct of LVNV 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.

COUNT V –  Abuse of Process

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. LVNV instituted a civil proceeding against Plaintiff as stated more full above.
  3. LVNV used these proceedings for an ulterior or wrongful purpose for which the proceedings were not designed to accomplish including but not limited to harassing Plaintiff into paying for a debt.
  4. LVNV as such acted in a knowing, willful, reckless, malicious and/or grossly negligent manner for purposes other than adjudicating the claims for which the proceeding were  brought as described above.
  5. The conduct of LVNV 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.

JURY TRIAL DEMAND

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

 

 

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff seeks judgment in Plaintiff’s favor and damages against LVNV, based on the following requested relief:

(a)                Actual damages;

(b)               Statutory damages;

(c)                Punitive damages;

(d)               Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees; and

(e)                Such other and further relief as may be necessary, just and proper.

 

Respectfully Submitted, 

/s/ Mark Mailman        

MARK MAILMAN

GREGORY GORSKI

FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA  19110

Attorneys for Plaintiff


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