Suing under FDCPA

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by jlynn, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. jlynn

    jlynn Well-Known Member

    This has been bothering me :) I see, and have seen many posts about racking up violations against CA's and suing for multiple $1000's of dollars under the FDCPA.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this title with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of --

    (1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;

    (2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000; or

    It says "any action", not "any violation", so I'm asking how are we suing for more than $1000 in additional damages?
  2. Butch

    Butch Well-Known Member

    You're right Jodi,

    I'm an advocate of suing for everything you can get your hands on, just not expecting any more than $1,000.

    First, one of the things the judges are supposed to look at when deciding an award is the nature and FREQUENCY of violations. I believe the more violations you can talk about the closer you'll get to the max $1,000. A judge can, if he thinks it's appropriate, break that rule and award a larger amount if he believes a stronger message needs to be sent.

    Just like small claims court. Here it's a max of $3,000. If I ever sued I'd sue for $10,000 if I could and settle for the max the court will allow because I'd want the judge to make all the way up to the $3,000 max.

    Another way to look at it is if one violation fails another may pick up the slack.

    Also I guess there's always a chance they won't pick up on the fact that it's per action, not violation, but wouldn't bet on that one.


  3. Flyingifr

    Flyingifr Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll ask the question - what stops me from filing a separate suit for each violation? Where I live it costs me $19 to file a suit and I can do it on line.
  4. lbrown59

    lbrown59 Well-Known Member

    Whose got the answer?
  5. jlynn

    jlynn Well-Known Member

    I don't think anything, unless, don't judges have some latitude about (stealing from Doc here) nuisance quotient?

    Here's what I'm referring to - I recently settled with a collector and when it has come time to ante up, I can't get hold of him, so, I'm going to have to sue him. He has 7 separate violations in one letter. Can you imagine any judge showing me patience if I drag him in 7 x on the off chance I can get $7000?
  6. jlynn

    jlynn Well-Known Member

    OK, lets say I sue for $5000 (my max in small claims), can I get thrown out for being unreasonable?
  7. Flyingifr

    Flyingifr Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Suing under FDCPA

    The suit would not be thrown out for the amount of the claim, just if there is no prima facie case, or the preponderance of evidence (the threshhold in civil cases) is against you. If the judge doesn't think you had $5000 in damages, the judge will merely award less.

    As far as suing for 5 violations in 1 letter, that's still just 1 letter. It's the letter that is the violation.

    BUT, sue for EACH LETTER that has a violation separately and you overcome the $1000 per action limit. Of course, if you have actual dmages over $1000 then go for actual damages.

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