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.
In Diaz v. Kubler Corp., plaintiff alleged that defendant’s voice mail messages were harassing in violation of the FDCPA because the caller’s identity was not meaningfully disclosed, and that defendant was improperly attempting to collect interest prior to obtaining a judgment under the state’s pre-judgment interest statute. The court denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment related to the harassment claim, finding that the contents of the conversations were disputed and presented a jury question because there were no recordings of the conversations. However, the court decided that defendant was not entitled to collect interest under state law without first obtaining a judgment. The court also rejected defendant’s bona fide error defense to the interest claim, concluding that any mistake was a mistake of law, and therefore the bona fide error defense would not apply.
In Dickman v. Kimball, Tirey & St. John, defendant moved to dismiss plaintiff’s FDCPA claim, arguing that any violations of the FDCPA were protected by the California litigation privilege. The court rejected this claim, finding that the state law litigation privilege does not apply to FDCPA claims.
In Jones v. Experian, defendant moved for summary judgment , claiming that plaintiff’s case that alleged an FCRA violation for failure to remove disputed items from her credit report, failed as a matter of law. In denying the motion, the court found that the issue of whether the credit agency conducted a reasonable investigation was a factual question that should be resolved by the jury. Defendant had argued that its duty of reinvestigation was satisfied once the debts were verified with the creditors, but the court concluded that the decision of whether such a limited investigation was reasonable was best resolved by the jury.► Back to News & Resources