A class-action lawsuit has been filed against an automobile lender and the company working on the lender’s behalf to repossess a vehicle for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by disclosing information to a third party and for allegedly violating state law in Wisconsin for offering a “finder’s fee” to a third-party to help find the vehicle.
A copy of the complaint in the case of Quinton Carlson v. Ford Motor Credit Company and Patrick K. Willis Company Inc. can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff fell behind on his car payments and the account was placed with one of the defendants to repossess the vehicle. A representative from the company called the plaintiff and during the course of the conversation, after telling the plaintiff “to do the right thing” and surrender the vehicle, the representative questioned whether the plaintiff’s son, daughter, or brother knew he was behind on his payments, according to the complaint. When the plaintiff hung up the phone, the representative called the plaintiff’s son and asked if he knew a “Quinton Carlson.” When the son answered “no,” the representative allegedly said, “That’s too bad. I was going to offer you a cash reward for any information on Quinton Carlson’s whereabouts or any information that would help me repossess the truck.” The representative is then accused of saying he would try reaching out to other family members.
The plaintiff then called the financing company and when he questioned the offer to the son of a reward for helping locate the vehicle, the representative from the finance company said, “Yeah, it’s a finder’s fee. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
The complaint accuses the defendants of violating Sections 1692b(2), 1692c(b), 1692d, 1692e, 1692e(5), and 1692f of the FDCPA by allegedly threatening to disclose the debt to third parties.
There are two potential classes of plaintiffs in the suit. The first are any other Wisconsin individuals who were subject to the defendant’s “insidious” debt collection practices, according to the complaint, and the other are any Wisconsin individuals who were subject to Ford Motor Credit’s “commercially unreasonable practices.”