During these challenging times, Severson & Werson remains open and in full operation, consistent with the firm’s previously established contingency planning. While many of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely, as a firm, we continue in full operation. We are here to help, as always.

CEB Prac. Guide § 2A.54 -- Vicarious Liability

Subscribe to Consumer Finance

Thank you for your desire to subscribe to Severson & Werson’s Consumer Finance Weblog. In order to subscribe, you must provide a valid name and e-mail address. This too will be retained on our server. When you push the “subscribe button”, we will send an electronic mail to the address that you provided asking you to confirm your subscription to our Weblog. By pushing the “subscribe button”, you represent and warrant that you are over the age of 18 years old, are the owner/authorized user of that e-mail address, and are entitled to receive e-mails at that address. Our weblog will retain your name and e-mail address on its server, or the server of its web host. However, we won’t share any of this information with anyone except the Firm’s employees and contractors, except under certain extraordinary circumstances described on our Privacy Policy and (About The Consumer Finance Blog/About the Appellate Tracker Weblog) Page. NOTICE AND AGREEMENT REGARDING E-MAILS AND CALLS/TEXT MESSAGES TO LAND-LINE AND WIRELESS TELEPHONES: By providing your contact information and confirming your subscription in response to the initial e-mail that we send you, you agree to receive e-mail messages from Severson & Werson from time-to-time and understand and agree that such messages are or may be sent by means of automated dialing technology. If you have your email forwarded to other electronic media, including text messages and cellular telephone by way of VoIP, internet, social media, or otherwise, you agree to receive my messages in that way. This may result in charges to you. Your agreement and consent also extend to any other agents, affiliates, or entities to whom our communications are forwarded. You agree that you will notify Severson & Werson in writing if you revoke this agreement and that your revocation will not be effective until you notify Severson & Werson in writing. You understand and agree that you will afford Severson & Werson a reasonable time to unsubscribe you from the website, that the ability to do so depends on Severson & Werson’s press of business and access to the weblog, and that you may still receive one or more emails or communications from weblog until we are able to unsubscribe you.

Judge Karlton's precedent-setting and liability imposing decisions under the FDCPA are numerous.  (See., e.g, Newman v. Checkrite California, Inc., 912 F.Supp. 1354, E.D.Cal. 1995)(debt collector vicariously liable for debt collection activities of attorney; no FDCPA defense that collector was following the orders of the superiors; litigation privilege does not apply to FDCPA); Newman v. Checkrite California, Inc., 1994 WL 896637… Read More

In Breidenbach v. Experian, 2013 WL 1010565 (S.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Curiel found that an otherwise exempt creditor cannot be brought under the FDCPA by a theory of vicarious liability. AES argues Plaintiff's FDCPA claim against AES fails because AES is not a “debt collector” under the FDCPA and because AES cannot be held vicariously liable for the acts of WWR,… Read More

In Heathman v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, 2013 WL 755674 (S.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Gonzalez granted summary judgment on an FDCPA claim filed against a debt collector who had sued the wrong person in a state-court debt collection lawsuit. Judge Gonzalez rejected the contention that the creditor could not be held liable, vicariously or otherwise.  Judge Gonzalez held that clients could… Read More

In Miranda v. Field Asset Services, 124047 (S.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Curiel found that an FDCPA Plaintiff could not bring a creditor under the FDCPA for hiring a third party debt collector.   Plaintiff alternatively argues that OneWest is vicariously liable for FAS's alleged debt collection activities. Plaintiff relies on Fox v. Citicorp and Schutz v. Arrow Fin. Services, both of… Read More

In Grant–Hall v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC, 2012 WL 619651 (N.D.Ill. 2012), Judge Feinerman held that a debt collection agency was vicariously liable for the conduct of their attorneys, and that the filing of a defective lawsuit can violate the FDCPA where the filing falsely implies that the debt collector has legal recourse against the debt. The filing of a legally defective… Read More

In McNichols v. Moore Law Group, 2012 WL 667760 (S.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Hayes held (without analysis) that a Plaintiff stated vicarious FDCPA liability against a Bank for the collection actions of its counsel.    Plaintiff alleges in the Complaint that Defendant Dis-cover Bank “uses an instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in a business the principal purpose of which… Read More

In Makreas v. Moore Law Group, A.P.C., 2012 WL 359710 (N.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Chesney found that the Plaintiff stated certain claims against a debt collection attorney, but not against the creditor whose debt the attorney was collecting.  In the context of evaluating a previous Rule 68 offer, the District Court confirmed that the Rosenthal Act and FDCPA penalties are “per… Read More

In Combs v. NCO Financial Systems, Inc., 2011 WL 1288686 (E.D.Pa. 2011), Judge Yohn affirmed the rule that a creditor, otherwise exempt from the FDCPA, can not be brought under its auspices through the doctrine of vicarious liability, explaining:   In response to Capital One's motion, plaintiff does not explicitly contest or concede that Capital One is not a “debt… Read More

In Owings v. Hunt & Henriques, 2010 WL 3489342 (S.D.Cal. 2010), Judge Lorenz found that a debt collector violated the Rosenthal Act in the collection of a debt from a National Guardsman called into military service.    The definition of “debt collector” under California Civil Code Section 1788.2(c) expressly excludes “an attorney or counselor at law.” FN2 A creditor's counsel… Read More

In Marlin v. Chase Cardmember Services, Inc. 2009 WL 2043014 (E.D.Cal. 2009), Judge Ishii held that a credit card company collecting its own obligation was not subject to the FDCPA.  Moreover, Judge Ishii denied leave to amend notwithstanding the Plaintiff’s suspicion that the creditor employed an outside agency to collect in its name.    The Court does not believe that… Read More

1 2