The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California entered default judgments against two debt collectors in separate cases, reaching the same conclusion on different facts as to sums recoverable on default for emotional distress under the FDCPA. In Molina v. Creditors Specialty Services, Inc. 2010 WL 235042 (E.D. Cal. 2010), the District Court entered a default judgment against the defendant debt collector, setting the default amount of emotional distress damages under the FDCPA as follows:
Plaintiff states that as a result of defendant’s harassing phone calls over a more than one month period, as well as threats to garnish her wages and commence litigation against her, plaintiff suffered stress, anxiety, one occasion of physical illness, and fear that money to provide for her baby would be taken. (Id.) However, the requested amount of $30,000 is unreasonable under these circumstances. ¶ … In view of the foregoing findings, it is ordered that plaintiff shall, within fourteen (14) days, either set this matter on the court’s calendar for proving up the $30,000 in actual damages, or shall file a statement that $25,000.00 is sufficient.
In Brablec v. Paul Colemant & Associates, Inc. 2010 WL 235062 (E.D. Cal. 2010), the District Court found the same sum application for emotional distress damages set on default application under the FDCPA, explaining:
Section 1692k(a)(1) also provides for actual damages. “Actual damages” are not defined by the FDCPA. The Ninth Circuit has not decided whether the state law of intentional infliction of emotional distress should apply or whether some lower standard akin to that used under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) should apply. See Costa v. National Ac-tion Financial Services, 2007 WL 4526510, *7 (E.D.Cal.2007); Riley v. Giguiere, 631 F.Supp.2d 1295, 1314 (E.D.Cal.2009). The undersigned need not address which standard should apply as the in-stant motion is not opposed. The affidavit submitted by plaintiff supports his request for physical damages and mental suffering. (Ex. A to Mot. Default J.) Plaintiff states that as a result of defendant’s harassing phone calls to both his home and his work, as well as threats to garnish his wages, plaintiff suffered heart problems, high blood pressure, sleep loss, fatigue, loss of concentration, poor work performance, stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of leaving his house. (Id.) The requested amount of $25,000 is reasonable under these circumstances.