In Roots v. American Marine Liquidators, Inc., 2012 WL 3136462 (D.S.C. 2012), Judge Anderson entered a default judgment against a marine financer for debt collection tactics employed in the collection of a debt secured by a boat.
American Marine Liquidators, Inc. was found to be in default in this action on May 31, 2012 [Doc. 9]; American Marine Liquidators, Inc., by and through its employee identified as “Sal,” abused Plaintiff by the following actions: . calling Mr. Roots’ home in the early morning hours and repeatedly at work, even after being asked not to; b. repeatedly calling Mr. Roots’ children and telling them that their father and other family members will go to jail; and c. threatening to offer a reward to neighbors for information about Mr. Roots and/or the boat. 3. As a result of this conduct, Plaintiff testified that he lost sleep and was highly upset and nervous from January through February, 2012. A large part of Plaintiff’s anxiety resulted from his reaction to De-fendant’s repeated contact with Plaintiff’s young children and with Plaintiff’s co-workers. 4. Plaintiff suffered from loss of sleep and had constant irregular blood sugar test strips, which caused him physical and mental pain for a period of two months. Plaintiff’s wife, Shannon Roots, testified that her husband is normally even tempered but that the phone calls and concern about the children and his job evoked a strong physical and emotional reaction from her husband. 5. Plaintiff testified that after his manager learned that Plaintiff was getting repeated collection calls at work, they treated him differently which caused him to seek out other employment. Plaintiff took a new job in April, 2012, which resulted in a pay reduction of $2.00 per hour for a period of 52 weeks. He works 40 hours each week, for a total loss of income in the amount of $ 4,160. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 1. Plaintiff has sustained actual damages as follows: $12,500 representing emotional damage and $4,160 representing lost wages. 2. Defendant American Marine Liquidators, Inc. remains in default and Plaintiff is therefore entitled to a default judgment against it. Defendant is deemed to have admitted the facts and violations of law as alleged in the complaint. 3. Plaintiff has standing to sue for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDC PA) under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a). 4. American Marine Liquidators, Inc. violated the FDCPA, specifically §§ 1692c(a)(1), 1692c(b), 1692d(1), 1692d(2), 1692d(5), and 1692e(4)-(5). 5. U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(1) allows a plaintiff to recover “any actual damage sustained” due to a debt col-lector’s violation of the FDCPA. Personal humilia-tion, embarrassment, marital discord, and mental anguish may be recovered as actual damages for violations of the FDCPA.FN1 The Court finds the evidence presented is sufficient to support the actual damages proven in open court. 6. Statutory damages may also be awarded without regard to actual damage, up to $1,000. See 1 5 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(2)(A). 7. The award of reasonable costs and fees is required under the FDCPA. See 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3). IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 1. Plaintiff is granted a default judgment against Defendant American Marine Liquidators, Inc. 2. Plaintiff Darwin Dwight Roots is awarded statu-tory damages under the FDCPA in the amount of $ 1,000. 3. Plaintiff is awarded total actual damages in the total amount of $ 16,660, of which $ 12,500 represents emotional damage and $ 4,160 represents Plaintiff’s lost wages. 4. Based on the evidence, then, a money judgment is awarded to Plaintiff in the total amount of $ 17,660. 5. The FDCPA provides that a prevailing party is entitled to “the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the court.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3). Plaintiff’s counsel submitted an affidavit, admitted during the July 16, 2012 hearing, detailing her rate and the hours spent on this case. Based on Ms. Campbell’s Attorney Fee Affidavit, Plaintiff is additionally awarded attorney fees and costs under the FDCPA in the amount of $ 2,262.66. 6. Post-judgment interest on this judgment shall be at the rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1961, to run from the date of entry of this judgment.