A District Court judge in Oklahoma has dismissed another complaint filed by an individual attempting to claim that an alleged violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that occurred against someone had been assigned to the individual, ruling that tort claims — which include FDCPA violations — are not legally assignable.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Dotson v. Ad Astra Recovery Services et al can be accessed by clicking here.
This is not the first time that the plaintiff has attempted to sue a collection agency after having someone assign a claim to him. But just as in the previous case, Judge Robin J. Cauthron of the District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that the type of claim in question — the defendant allegedly furnished inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies — is not something that can be assigned to a third party.
State law in Oklahoma only allows claims involving contracts and subrogation to be assigned to third parties, the defendants pointed out. The plaintiff attempted to argue that the underlying debt involved a contract between the assignor and the original creditor, but Judge Cauthron quickly pointed out that the plaintiff’s argument lacked merit.
“The fact that Ms. Bundy may have had a contract with Verizon and that as a result of that contract there was some alleged violation of the FDCPA does not equate to Ms. Bundy’s tort claim arising in contract,” Judge Cauthron wrote. “Put more simply, a claim for violation of the FDCPA could exist absent any contract and thus it is a pure tort claim.”
The plaintiff has filed a notice of Appeal for the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.