Litigating in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Attorneys Jeff Turner and David Shaver recently secured a summary judgment in favor of their client, an Indiana collection agency accused of various violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In this case, the Indiana agency was accused of attempting to collect on a “bogus” account that had allegedly been discharged in bankruptcy.  The agency was also alleged to have failed to timely report the account as disputed following the consumer’s dispute.  After proving that the account at issue had not been discharged and securing a voluntary dismissal of the plaintiff’s FCRA claims, Jeff and David attacked the plaintiff’s remaining FDCPA allegations under 1692e(8).  After summary judgment briefing was completed, the Court found that the fact that the account was disputed was inherent in the agency’s ACDV response.  The Court also found that the agency’s affirmative evidence showing that it had reported the account as disputed in its monthly reporting update, submitted the very next day, was sufficient to overcome the plaintiff’s unsupported argument that “industry standards” required the agency to notate the dispute directly on the ACDV response.

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Representing clients in class action cases can sometimes be more challenging than representing clients in individual actions.  This was true for Attorneys Jeff Turner and David Shaver during the course of a recent case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in which they obtained a favorable summary judgment for their client, a Michigan collection agency.  Sued in a class action that was part of a larger group of similar class actions consolidated under a single judge, Jeff and David had to navigate a more-complex-than-usual procedural environment in order to establish that their client had not violated the FDCPA.  Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that certain costs related to previous unsuccessful garnishment attempts had illegally been included in later garnishment attempts.  After lengthy periods of early motion practice and discovery, the Court agreed that there were no questions of material fact remaining for trial with respect to the Michigan agency and that it had not been involved in the garnishment attempts that were alleged to have violated the FDCPA.

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Litigating in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Attorneys Jeff Turner and David Shaver secured a summary judgment in favor of their client – a New York collection agency accused of various violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act – followed by a voluntary dismissal of the plaintiff’s appeal.

In this highly contentious litigation that lasted over three years and involved multiple party defendants, Jeff and David were able to overcome the plaintiff’s numerous attempts to coerce a settlement by delaying the case and obstructing discovery.  Through coordination with the attorneys for the other defendants, Jeff and David were able obtain the discovery necessary to establish that the plaintiff could not prove any of the FDCPA, FCRA, or OCSPA violations alleged.  At summary judgment, which was not reversed on appeal, it was established that the client: did not falsely represent the amount of the account that had been placed with it; had not attempted to collect an unauthorized amount; had not engaged in any false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unconscionable practices; and had a permissible purpose to inquire into the plaintiff’s consumer report.