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DISCLAIMER: This article is based on a complaint. The defendant has not responded to the complaint to present its side of the case. The claims mentioned are accusations and should be considered as such until and unless proven otherwise.
Love is blind, they say. And sometimes, love leads to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuits. A plaintiff has filed an FDCPA suit against a collector, accusing it of attempting to collect on a debt that was a result of the plaintiff’s identity being stolen by her ex-fiancee, who used the plaintiff’s information to purchase an engagement ring for the plaintiff. The engagement was called off two years later, but the defendant filed a collection lawsuit against the plaintiff seeking to recover more than $7,700.
A copy of the complaint, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of California, can be accessed using case number 23-cv-00546 or by clicking here.
Back in 2014, the plaintiff’s boyfriend financed the purchase of a $9,200 engagement ring using the plaintiff’s personal information. Two years later, the couple broke up and the plaintiff gave the ring back to her ex-fiancee. The debt was charged off in 2017, and in 2021, the debt was assigned to the defendant. The defendant filed a collection lawsuit against the plaintiff, which, according to the complaint, was the first time she had discovered that her identity had been stolen as a means of purchasing the ring. This was not the first time that her ex-fiancee had stolen the plaintiff’s identity, according to the complaint. In stealing her identity to purchase the ring, the ex-fiancee had provided the plaintiff’s name, but used his mailing address and provided fake phone numbers using area codes “100” “200” for his work and home numbers.
The plaintiff filed a police report and completed an identity theft affidavit from the Federal Trade Commission. The plaintiff submitted all this information to the defendant and subsequently disputed the debt, in attempts to get the defendant to dismiss the collection lawsuit. The defendant did dismiss the lawsuit earlier this year, but the plaintiff had to spend 18 months defending herself, including paying attorney’s fees, according to the complaint.
The complaint accuses the defendant of violating the FDCPA, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the California Identity Theft Act.