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Failure to Respond Leads Judge to Award $23k in Damages, Attorney’s Fees to Plaintiff in FDCPA, TCPA Case

A District Court judge in Ohio has granted default judgment in favor of the plaintiff and awarded $23,000 in damages and attorney’s fees after a collection agency was accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Telephone Consumer Protection Act, but did not answer a complaint, the application for entry of default, and a motion for default judgment.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Miller v. Ability Recovery Services, LLC, can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff accused the defendant of calling her a number of times after she had indicated the debt had been paid off. The plaintiff accused the defendant of using an automatic telephone dialing system and contacting her without her consent, threatening to report the unpaid debt to the credit bureaus, regardless of whether the debt had been paid or not, and claimed that she bore the responsibility of proving the debt had been paid.

The judge ruled the defendant had violated the FDCPA “based on ‘the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional,’ ” and awarded the plaintiff $1,000.

The judge also awarded the plaintiff $10,500 in damages related to the TCPA claims, based on seven calls that were placed to the plaintiff at a price of $1,500 per violation.

To cover the plaintiff’s attorney fees, the judge awarded $9,587.

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