Pennsylvania Complaint Against Portfolio Recovery Associates Collection Agency for FDCPA Violations

June 10th, 2011 by krista

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

John Doe 

Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES

 

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”), and other common law claims.  The 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 Missouri.
  2. Defendant Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 120 Corporate Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502.  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 previously owed by Plaintiff to Providian National Bank (hereafter the “debt”).
  2. The alleged debt at issue arose out of a transaction which was primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
  3. At all times material hereto, Plaintiff did not owe a debt to Defendant.
  4. In or around October 2007, Plaintiff reached a settlement to pay the debt through the law firm of Gamache & Myers, P.C.
  5. Notwithstanding the above, in or around July 2009, Defendant began to conduct collection activities in order to coerse payment of the already paid debt.  Plaintiff in turn contacted Defendant by telephone and advised that he had previously settled the debt in full and faxed a copy of a letter from Gamache & Myers, P.C., confirming the settlement, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “A”.  Defendant’s representative further acknowledged that Plaintiff paid the debt during the conversation with Plaintiff.
  6. Notwithstanding the above, in or around February 8, 2011, Defendant sent Plaintiff yet another collection and dunning letter in order to coerse payment of the debt with the intent to annoy, abuse and harass Plaintiff, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit “B”.
  7. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating with any person other than the consumer and disclosing the debt to that person.
  8. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating with any person other than the consumer on more than one occasion.
  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 a debt.
  10. 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.
  11. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of any debt.
  12. Defendant acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by engaging in false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.
  13. Defendant knew or should have known that their actions violated the FDCPA. Additionally, Defendant could have taken the steps necessary to bring their 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 he will continue to suffer same for an indefinite time in the future, all to her 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(b), 1692d, 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(10), and 1692f, as evidenced by the following conduct:

(a)                Communicating with a non-debtor on more than one occasion;

(b)               Communicating with any person other than the consumer in connection with the collection of a debt;

(c)                Misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of any debt;

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

(e)                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 – 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 repeatedly contacting Plaintiff in an attempt to collect a debt after being advised that Plaintiff paid the debt and to cease contact, constitutes an 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:

(a)    Actual damages;

(b)   Statutory damages;

(c)    Punitive damages;

(d)   Costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees; and

(e)    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

GREGORY J. GORSKI, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff


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