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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

District Court says defendant’s request for default judgment was more than "procedural mishap"

Courts FDCPA Debt Collection Kentucky Consumer Finance


On May 11, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky partially granted and partially denied a defendant collection attorney’s (defendant’s) motion to dismiss a FDCPA suit. According to the memorandum opinion and order, the plaintiff defaulted on a loan and the defendant was hired to file a collection lawsuit on behalf of the creditor. Though the plaintiff responded to the suit, the defendant filed a motion for default judgment and motion for attorney’s fees, which was not served for the plaintiff. The defendant attempted to have the plaintiff’s employer garnish his wages, but the plaintiff challenged the garnishment. After reviewing the case, the state court vacated the default judgment and ordered the sides to arbitration. The collection suit was ultimately dismissed with prejudice. The current stage of the suit involves the plaintiff suing the defendant, alleging he violated the FDCPA by improperly seeking default judgment, failing to serve the motion for default judgment, opposing his wage garnishment challenge, and requesting disingenuous attorney’s fees. The district court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss on the attorney’s fees and the provisions related to the wage garnishment. However, in respect to the allegations related to the filing for default judgment and failure to serve, the district court denied the motion to dismiss. The district court noted that the defendant’s “request for default judgment was more than ‘procedural mishap’—it was a ‘false, deceptive, or misleading representation [] in connection with the collection of any debt’ that seemingly caused faulty default judgment to be entered.”

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