A New Jersey woman hired the Law Office of Dimitrios Kolovos, LLC to file a lawsuit against the debt collector Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the N.J. Identity Theft Prevention Act (ITPA), and for publishing private facts about her. Both The FDCPA and the ITPA are powerful consumer rights statutes regulating the conduct of consumer debt collectors. The Consumer filed her lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey located in Trenton, New Jersey and demanded that judgment be entered against the Defendants for her statutory damages, actual damages, attorney’s fees, and the costs of her litigation.
The Complaint alleges that Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC (a junk debt buyer of old, defaulted debts) unlawfully employed its debt collection agent, Apothaker & Associates, P.C. of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey to file a state-court lawsuit on time-barred, consumer debt. Her Complaint also alleges that Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC disclosed Plaintiff’s private information including her date of birth and social security numbers to the World. “A debt collector is forbidden to file a lawsuit on time-barred, consumer debt,” her attorney Joseph A. Mullaney, III said. “To do so is an unfair debt collection practice and violates the FDCPA,” he continued. What makes the Complaint of particular concern to the public is that it attempts to enforce the ITPA against a debt collector who publishes a consumer’s social security number in the public record. “My client is exposed to identity theft and other unauthorized use of her identity information because Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC disclosed her social security number for anyone to see,” her lawyer continued. “She is afraid someone will steal her identity,” Mullaney finished. The Complaint also seeks punitive damages against Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC for allegedly disclosing the Consumer's private and confidential information without authorization.
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