Debt collectors and their lawyers almost always take the approach that its “no big deal” that the collection agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Read this fascinating story here about what happened to one famous debt collector (Credigy) who did not take its wrongdoing seriously and instead attacked the plaintiffs and their children.
Several excellent consumer lawyers tried a case against Credigy for nine days in Northern California and the jury awarded $500,000 in damages. Attorney fees and expenses will be added to this outstanding result.
Following a nine day trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the jury returned a verdict of $500,000 against Credigy Services Corporation. The verdict consisted of $100,000 in actual damages and $400,000 in punitive damages. United States District Judge James W. Ware, who presided over the trial, specifically instructed the jury that they could only award punitive damages, if they found by clear and convincing evidence that Credigy Services Corporation “was malicious or in reckless disregard of the rights” of the Fausto’s. In order to be “malicious, the jury had to find that the conduct was accompanied by ill will, spite or for the purpose of injuring another. Reckless disregard required a finding of a complete indifference to the rights of others.
We are informed that the verdict is the largest under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on behalf of a consumer who owed the debt. The Fausto’s are entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs as prevailing party under federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Congratulations to the following lawyers who represented the plaintiffs in this important case:
David Humphreys and Luke Wallace of Humphreys Wallace Humphreys, P.C. Tulsa, OK; Balám Letona, Santa Cruz, CA and Ron Wilcox, San Jose, CA.
Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.