Friday, December 25, 2009

So Jersey Woman Sues Midland Funding, LLC for FDCPA Violations

A South Jersey woman sued Midland Funding, LLC alleging that it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692, et seq. The woman alleged that Midland Funding violated the FDCPA by filing a time-barred debt collection lawsuit against her in a state court. The suit was filed in the federal courts of New Jersey and seeks actual damages, statutory damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was unable to repay a computer she purchased for her daughter while in Pennsylvania. After default, Plaintiff moved to New Jersey where Midland Funding sued her there. Plaintiff defended the debt collection lawsuit alleging that Pennsylvania’s shorter statute of limitations should apply and not New Jersey’s longer statute of limitations. After Midland Funding dismissed the state-court lawsuit, Plaintiff filed her FDCPA action seeking serious damages arising from the wrongful debt collection lawsuit, the Complaint alleges.
“Consumers must consult with Consumer Rights Attorneys when they find themselves sued for alleged consumer debts,” her attorney, Joseph A. Mullaney, III, said. The defense of consumer debt collection lawsuits are very complicated, and defenses may exist that a consumer is unaware. “Consulting with a Consumer Rights Attorney,” continued Mullaney, “is the only means by which a consumer can be sure of his or her defenses.” In addition to the statute of limitations defense, there are many other defenses to consumer debts bought by junk debt buyers like Midland Funding.


On December 10, 2010, the federal court found Midland Funding, LLC liable to Plaintiff for violating her FDCPA rights. Judge Irenas, Senior United States Judge, wrote an opinion that observed:
[T]he FDCPA prohibits the “use [of] unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692f. Several district courts have held that pursuing a lawsuit which the debt collector knows or should know is time-barred violates the FDCPA.
The Court’s opinion held that “it is clear that Pennsylvania has the most significant relationship to the claim, and that New Jersey’s relationship is merely attenuated.” Therefore, “this Court holds that the four-year Pennsylvania statute of limitations applies to the underlying suit… [so that Midland Funding's] suit was time-barred.”
According to the consumer’s attorney, Joseph A. Mullaney, III, “The Court will schedule a trial in which to determine Plaintiff’s damages arising from the liability the Court already determined.”
If you are a New Jersey or Pennsylvania resident in need of the professional assistance of a Consumer Rights Attorney, visit for a case evaluation by one of our experienced Consumer Rights Attorneys.
Nothing stated herein may be construed nor is it intended to be legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney.

No comments: