A District Court judge in New York has approved a class-action settlement in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case that will see the defendant pay $633,500 in debt relief, cash relief, attorney’s fees, and an award to the named plaintiff.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Moukengeshaie v. Eltman, Eltman, and Cooper, P.C., can be accessed by clicking here.
The defendant will forgive $318,500 in debts owed by the participants in the class, make a cash payment of $100,000 which will be divided up by the class, pay $200,000 to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, and pay the named plaintiff $15,000.
In the original complaint, filed back in December 2014, the plaintiffs accused the defendant of sending a collection letter that included threats to “find any assets available” to help the defendant collect on an unpaid judgment, even though the defendant had not received any such instructions from the owner of the debt. The letter went on to say that the defendant would seek to seize “real estate and/or personal property, including cars, sports utility vehicles, trucks boats, and motorcycles, as well as other personal property you may own.”
The plaintiff filed an amended complaint in May 2015, alleging that the judgment upon which the defendants were attempting to collect had not been properly assigned and the defendant had no legal right to collect upon it.
The court dismissed several of the plaintiff’s claims in 2016, but denied a motion to dismiss the case in its entirety.
There are approximately 8,000 members of the class who will split the $100,000 cash payment equally. A subclass of 392 plaintiffs will receive the $318,500 in debt forgiveness.