Posted on June 30, 2014
In Lodge v. Kondaur Capital, a bankruptcy debtor filed an action alleging that the defendant law firm violated the FDCPA and the automatic bankruptcy stay. After the district court granted summary judgment to defendant, plaintiff appealed, contending that the district court erred by dismissing his claim for actual damages. In affirming the district court, the appellate court first concluded that emotional distress damages are a sufficient type of “actual damages” recoverable for willful breach of the automatic stay, but that plaintiff failed to offer admissible evidence beyond general assertions of emotional distress to show an injury sufficient to support an award of actual damages. In affirming the district court in full, the appellate court also agreed that plaintiff failed to show that defendant was a debt collector subject to the FDCPA, and affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendant on the FDCPA claim.