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CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.53 -- Liability -- Class Actions

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In Pavlovich v. Account Discovery Services, 2017 WL 5903354, at *3 (S.D.Cal., 2017), Magistrate Crawford found that an FDCPA Class Action Plaintiff was entitled to net worth discovery despite the fact that class certification had not yet been decided. The Court finds that plaintiff is entitled to financial information regarding defendant, DNF's, financial net worth in 2015, 2016, and at present.… Read More

In Spuhler v. State Collection Services, Inc., 2017 WL 4862069, at *7–8 (E.D.Wis., 2017), Judge Joseph certified an FDCPA class, rejecting the argument that the class, as defined, was too narrow and would result in multiple classes (in defiance of the $500k/1% net worth limitation) where the debt collector used the same offending letter for various clients. State Collection's first… Read More

The Conference on Consumer Finance Law just published two articles on the FDCPA by Severson & Werson. Hyman & Kenney, Judicial Isolation of the Third Circuit’s “Glassine Window” FDCPA Decision in Douglass v. Convergent Outsourcing, 69 Conf. Cons. Fin. L. Q. 142 (Fall 2016):  here  Hyman & Kenney, The Effect of the FDCPA’s Class-Action Penalty Cap on Class Certification, 69… Read More

In Annunziato v. Collecto, Inc., 2016 WL 5407871, at *15–16 (E.D.N.Y. 2016), Judge Spatt held that a debt collector's goodwill is included in calculating the defendant's net worth under the FDCPA's class action penalty calculus.  This is contrary to the 7th Circuit's decision in Sanders v. Jackson, 209 F.3d 998, 1001 (7th Cir. 2000), which held that goodwill was not to… Read More

In Tourgeman v. Collins Financial Services, Inc., 2016 WL 3854540, at *2-4 (S.D.Cal. 2016), Judge Bencivengo dismissed FDCPA class allegations because the Plaintiff had no evidence of the defendant's net worth. In support of his position, Plaintiff cites to the fact that the FDCPA statutory award is a punitive in nature, i.e., the jury considers defendant's conduct and provides for… Read More

In Sykes v. Mel Harris & Assoc., Inc., 2016 WL 3030156 (S.D.N.Y., 2016), Judge Chin affirmed a $60M class action settlement. In this class action, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants -- a debt-buying company, a law firm, a process service company, and affiliated entities and individuals -- engaged in abusive debt collection practices to obtain default judgments against hundreds of thousands of… Read More

In Harper v. The Law Office of Harris & Zide, LLP, 2016 WL 2344194, at *5 (N.D.Cal., 2016), Judge Gilliam certified an FDCPA class, despite the impact of the statutory cap on class certification.  Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant, acting to collect debts from the putative class on behalf of BOA, failed to provide the exact disclosure required by 15 U.S.C. §… Read More

In Luther v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., 2016 WL 1698396, at *6 (E.D.Mich., 2016), Judge Cohn certified an FDCPA class action, finding that the small class recovery was no impediment to class certification. A class action is superior “[w]here it is not economically feasible to obtain relief within the traditional framework of a multiplicity of small individual suits for damages, aggrieved… Read More

In Datta v. Asset Recovery Solutions, LLC, 2016 WL 1070666, at *7-10 (N.D.Cal., 2016), Judge Koh rejected the argument that the FDCPA's $500,000 cap prevented certification of an FDCPA/glassine window case. . . . the Court observes that, as a general matter, courts routinely certify class actions where monetary recovery would be small. . . . Second, the efficacy of a single… Read More

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