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10-25-2011 / By: StopCollections

You Can Fight Against Inappropriate Collection Practices

Some people think that when they are sued by a debt collections agency, there is nothing they can do. Instead of fighting back, they try to hide and avoid the pain and suffering.

There is nothing worse you can do. Fight back against a debt collections agency any and every chance you get.

In Moriarity v. Henriques, Hunt & Henriques, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116483 (Eastern District of California, 2011), Moriarity received collections letters Frederick J. Hanna & Associates regarding a debt Moriarity allegedly owed to Bank of America and/or FIA Cardservices. Moriarity mailed a dispute and validation notice. The debt was transferred to the law firm of Hunt & Henriques, one of California’s largest debt collections agencies, for further collections. Moriarity again mailed a dispute and validation notice.

Hunt & Henriques ignored the dispute letters and filed suit for collections. Moriarity fought back and sued for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and California’s Rosenthal Act.

Moriarity alleged that Hunt & Henriques made “false, deceptive, or misleading” statements about the debt in the lawsuit because Moriarity had previously disputed the debt and that fact was not mentioned in the lawsuit itself. The court agreed.

Moriarity alleged that the debt was disputed and Hunt & Henriques did not properly note such in the lawsuit. As such, the court agreed this is another potential violation of the FDCPA.

Moriarity alleged that Hunt & Henriques failed to validate the debt after Moriarity sent Hunt & Henriques a validation notice. The court agreed and found that Hunt & Henriques needed to either validate the debt before filing suit or provide validation of the debt in the lawsuit itself. Without doing either, Hunt & Henriques committed yet another violation of the FDCPA.

The moral of the story: when you get a letter or telephone call from a debt collections agency, fight back. Go on the attack. And even if you are sued, continue to fight. It is not over until you win and the debt collections agencies go away forever.

 

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