Judge Recommends Sanctions Against Plaintiffs in FDCPA Case

A Magistrate Judge in New York has filed a report recommending that a District Court judge allow the plaintiffs in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action suit to file a fourth amended complaint, even though discovery and the time to amend pleadings has closed, while also recommending that the defendants be granted sanctions to cover attorneys fees and costs.

A copy of the report and recommendation from Judge Kathleen Tomlinson in the case of Agoado, McNally, Moore, Pierre, Sharkey, and Vazquez v. Midland Funding, Rubin & Rothman, Forster & Garbus, Cohen & Slamowitz, Selip & Stylianou, and Pressler & Pressler can be accessed by clicking here.

The lawsuit was originally filed back in 2014 and has taken a very long and circuitous path to get to this point, nearly six years later. Essentially, the plaintiffs are accusing the defendants of obtaining default judgments by mis-stating the language of the FDCPA in affidavits and having employees with no knowledge of an account “robo-sign” affidavits.

The plaintiffs now want to file a fourth amended complaint by adding in new evidence and information. Judge Tomlinson “reluctantly” found that the plaintiffs met the necessary requirements to be allowed to file an amended complaint.

But, at the same time, the plaintiffs have “unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings in this case,” after they “voluntarily elected to file a grossly expanded pleading with the hope that no one would notice the expansion.” Those actions, along with others mentioned in the report are why Judge Tomlinson recommended to Judge William Kuntz of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York that he grant the defendants’ motion for sanctions, allowing for reasonable costs, including attorneys’ fees.

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