Judge Grants MJOP in FDCPA Case Over Time-Barred Claim

A District Court judge in Pennsylvania has granted a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, agreeing with the defendant that the plaintiff’s complaint is time-barred under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s one-year statute of limitations.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Woods v. CACH can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff had a credit card debt that was charged off at some point around 2010. The debt was sold to the defendant and it filed a collection lawsuit against the plaintiff in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. When the suit was filed, though, the plaintiff was living in North Carolina. The complaint and notice of default were both sent to an address in Philadelphia, meaning the plaintiff never received any notification about the lawsuit. The defendant also did not make any attempt to contact the plaintiff.

In 2019, the plaintiff discovered a judgment had been entered against her. She was getting ready to close on the purchase of a home and she had three days to resolve the debt.

The plaintiff filed suit in December 2021, alleging the defendant violated the FDCPA by not filing the lawsuit in the proper venue.

While a court has some leeway in allowing for equitable tolling in cases where a plaintiff has been prevented from filing in a timely manner, that is not needed here, ruled Judge Juan R. Sanchez of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. While the plaintiff did not know a lawsuit had been filed against her back in 2011, she did know about it in 2019 when she was buying her house. That she waited until December 2021 to file the lawsuit in question is not a reason to circumvent the FDCPA’s one-year statue of limitations, Judge Sanchez ruled.

“Even if Woods merited equitable tolling, nearly two and a half years passed between CACH’s enforcement of the judgment in July 2019 and Woods filing this lawsuit in December 2021,” Judge Sanchez wrote. “Because Woods has not shown she pursued her rights diligently or was prevented from filing, the Court finds she is not entitled to equitable tolling and her claim is barred.”

Check Also

CFPB Won’t Pursue Enforcement Action with Opportun Over Legal Collection Practices

For the executives of Opportun Inc., it probably feels like Christmas in March. The company …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *