A District Court judge in Ohio has approved a settlement in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class-action lawsuit that will see the defendant pay $500,000 in fees and costs after it was accused of pursuing collection activity against individuals who had participated in a separate settlement of an FDCPA case in which the defendant agreed to refrain from undertaking certain collection activities against the members of the class.
A copy of the order in the case of Sellards et al. v. Midland Credit Management et al. can be accessed by clicking here.
The origins of this case date back all the way to 2008 in which an individual filed a counterclaim in Ohio state court, accusing a collection operation of filing collection lawsuits that were either untimely commenced or otherwise time-barred. The operation was subsequently acquired and became affiliated with the defendant in this case. The counterclaim was settled in 2015, and one of the terms of the settlement was that the defendant would refrain from engaging in certain collection activity against the members of the class.
Fast forward to 2020 and the plaintiff in this case — one of the 238 members of the original class action — alleges that the defendant filed a motion to revive a dormant judgment against her. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated the terms of the original settlement agreement.
This past February, the parties agreed on terms of a settlement, in which the defendant denied any and all allegations and claims and expressly denied any wrongdoing. To avoid the cost, burden, and uncertainty of further litigation, it agreed to settle the case.
Under the terms of the settlement, the 238 members of the class will split $500,000 less the class counsel fee and the class representative award. The plaintiff’s attorneys will receive $60,000 for their work and the class counsel will receive $15,000. If the remaining members of the class all participate in the settlement, each will receive about $1,800.