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  4.  — Was Nationwide Credit Corporation Sued for Allegedly Committing Unlawful Debt Collection in Violation of the FDCPA?

Was Nationwide Credit Corporation Sued for Allegedly Committing Unlawful Debt Collection in Violation of the FDCPA?

by | Jul 14, 2021 | Firm News |

Yes.  In the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, a federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation (“NCC”) – which is a debt collector – for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that regulates the actions of debt collectors.

Any debt collector that has allegedly violated a consumer’s rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), can be sued by a consumer for statutory damages of up to $1,000; actual damages including, but not limited to, harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions; as well as the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

The docket number for the case is Case No. 1:18-cv-01660-CCC.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation placed repeated harassing telephone calls to Plaintiff’s cellular telephone.  The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation’s allegedly harassing collection calls emanated from their usage of an automated telephone dialing system and/or a pre-recorded voice.

The plaintiff alleged that during repeated collection calls, Nationwide Credit Corporation demanded that the plaintiff first provide his confidential and personal information over the phone, including his date of birth and Social Security number, prior to discussing information about the alleged debt with the plaintiff.

The plaintiff alleged that he was dismayed by Nationwide Credit Corporation’s request for said confidential and personal information, and refused to disclose it, and requested that Nationwide Credit Corporation stop contacting him shortly after the commencement of the allegedly incessant calls.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation knew that its calls were unwanted, and that any further calls could only have been placed for the purpose of harassing the plaintiff.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation did not restrict its calls to the plaintiff’s cellular telephone number, and that Nationwide Credit Corporation persisted in calling the plaintiff on a consistent basis, despite knowing that the plaintiff did not want to receive its calls any longer.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation’s calls were not for emergency purposes, and that Nationwide Credit Corporation’s additional calls were upsetting, unwanted and harassing to the plaintiff.

In the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in the Northern Division, another federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation for alleged violations of the FDCPA and Maryland state law. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:09-cv-00300-RDB.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged Nationwide Credit Corporation began to contact her in order to collect a debt related to her daughter’s medical bill and that she agreed to a payment plan. She alleged that she told the defendant many times to stop calling her but that in spite of these requests, the defendant continued to contact her. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant called her at her workplace even though she told them that she was not allowed to receive such phone calls while at work. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant started to threaten her, telling her that they would continue calling her at her place of employment until she paid off the full balance of the debt. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant also threatened her with abusive and profane language. The plaintiff alleged that due to their unlawful actions during the collection process, such as by harassing her over the telephone and threatening her with action they could not legally take, Nationwide Credit Corporation violated the FDCPA.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation and its agents in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in the Northern Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA and Alabama state law. The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:15-cv-00157-WHA-WC.

The plaintiff alleged that a debt allegedly owed by an unknown individual was transferred to Nationwide Credit Corporation for collection and that the defendant began to contact the plaintiff over this debt that was not his own. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant called him in order to reach the debtor and that in their first call, the plaintiff told the defendant that they were calling the wrong number and that he did not know who the debtor was. The plaintiff also alleged that he asked the defendant to stop making calls to him and that the defendant acknowledged this request, saying that they would remove his number from their records.

However, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant continued to contact him, making over ten additional calls to him after the initial call. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that in a call that occurred a month after the first call, he again told the defendant that they had the wrong number and for them to cease the calls. The plaintiff alleged that in spite of these requests, he continued to receive harassing calls from Nationwide Credit Corporation. The plaintiff alleged that the actions of the defendant violated the FDCPA because they engaged in behavior that would harass or abuse him, called him repeatedly on the phone, and used unfair and unconscionable means during the collection process.

Nationwide Credit Corporation was also sued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in the Western Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA and North Carolina state law. The docket number for this case is Case No. 5:07-cv-00071-D.

The plaintiff in this case alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation began to call him at home and at his place of employment in order to collect an alleged debt. The plaintiff alleged that he told the defendant to stop calling him at work but that the defendant ignored this request. He also alleged that the defendant threatened to garnish his wages and that these calls continued for the next month. The plaintiff, who was a retired army member, alleged that he then went to a military legal assistance office to seek legal help. The plaintiff alleged that an attorney then informed the defendant via fax that she would represent him as counsel.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation spoke to his attorney on the phone in a very sarcastic tone and sent over a fax of the debt. The plaintiff alleged that this debt was related to a real estate loan from a credit union but that the credit union had notified the plaintiff, by writing and by phone, that he did not owe any money to them. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant sent him many letters in order to claim this alleged $25,000 debt. The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation’s actions violated the FDCPA in many ways, particularly by harassing him, making false threats, collecting on a debt that he did not owe, and failing to provide him with required notices.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania for alleged violations of the FDCPA and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:18-cv-01660-CCC.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation started to call him in regard to an alleged personal debt. The plaintiff alleged that he repeatedly received these harassing calls between August 2016 and February 2018. He also alleged that he was called from a number that was confirmed to belong to Nationwide Credit Corporation and that these calls were made using a pre-recorded voice or an automatic dialing system. The plaintiff alleged that he would hear a pre-recorded voice in these calls before he would be connected to a live representative.

Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that in these calls, Nationwide Credit Corporation demanded for the plaintiff to provide them with personal information like his birthday and social security number. The plaintiff alleged that he refused to reveal this information and asked for the defendant to cease their calls early on in August 2016. However, the plaintiff alleged that these calls continued despite his request. The plaintiff alleged that by calling his phone repeatedly after he asked them to stop and by engaging in behavior that would harass or abuse him, Nationwide Credit Corporation acted in violation of the FDCPA.

In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee Division, a class action lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation and another debt collector for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:14-cv-00681-WEC.

The plaintiff in this case allegedly incurred expenses related to medical treatment for her child. The plaintiff alleged that she received three different debt collection letters from Nationwide Credit Corporation, who were attempting to collect upon this debt. The plaintiff also alleged that all three of these letters contained different account numbers and that two of the letters identified different hospital names of where the treatment was provided. The plaintiff alleged that the phrasing of the letters was confusing to the least sophisticated consumer and that recipients of the letters would not be able to tell how many debts that the defendants were attempting to collect. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that by mailing three different collection letters with varying information, the defendants increased the possibility that the consumer would pay multiple balances for the same alleged debt.

The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation and the second debt collector used false or deceptive representations and unfair or unconscionable means during the debt collection process by sending three collection letters that would confuse the unsophisticated consumer. Thus, the plaintiff alleged that the actions of the defendants were in violation of the FDCPA.

In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Richmond Division, another federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 3:20-cv-00305-HEH.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that he received a dunning letter from Nationwide Credit Corporation in December 2019 regarding an alleged debt related to a medical bill. The plaintiff alleged that the next month, he sent a letter back to the defendant to inform them that he did not owe money on any medical bills. The plaintiff also alleged that he stated that he would not pay the debt and that he requested for the defendant to stop communicating with him regarding this alleged debt. The plaintiff alleged that his letter was received by the defendant two days later but in spite of his request, the defendant continued to contact him. He alleged that in February 2020, he received another letter from the defendant which provided “information [he] requested,” even though the plaintiff never asked for verification of the debt. The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation’s actions violated the FDCPA because they continued to have contact with him after he asked them to cease communications and that the defendant engaged in behavior that was meant to harass or abuse him.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Nationwide Credit Corporation in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:18-cv-02274-CCB.

The plaintiff alleged that he began to receive harassing phone calls from Nationwide Credit Corporation in regard to an alleged debt. The plaintiff alleged that he received calls from a number that was confirmed to belong to the defendant. He also alleged that in many of the phone calls, he informed Nationwide Credit Corporation that he was unemployed, so he did not have the means to pay off the debt, and that he asked for the defendant to stop calling him. The plaintiff alleged that despite his request, the defendant continued to contact him and that he eventually had to download a call blocking application on his phone. The plaintiff alleged that Nationwide Credit Corporation knowingly engaged in conduct that was harassing and abusive, and that their actions were in violation of the FDCPA.

 

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal statute enacted by the 95th United States Congress. The purpose of this statute is to encourage fair debt collection, to eliminate unlawful debt collection practices, and to provide legal protection for consumers against debt collectors. The types of debt covered by the FDCPA are consumer debts, including but not limited to credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

The FDCPA prohibits certain behaviors during the debt collection process and pursuant to the statute there are a number of actions that a debt collector cannot engage in when attempting to collect a debt. For example, when speaking with a consumer, a debt collector cannot threaten them with harm or with actions that they cannot take, lie to them, swear or use foul language, or pretend that they are a government agency or a law enforcement agency, amongst other things. Additionally, there are restrictions as to when a debt collector is allowed to communicate with a consumer. For example, a debt collector cannot call an individual between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. and if they have already told them to stop calling, the debt collector must cease their calls to both their personal phone and their workplace. A debt collector also cannot call a consumer during time periods that they have indicated are inconvenient for them. Moreover, in most states, and unless a debt collector is a debt collection law firm, a debt collector cannot threaten to sue a consumer; as they do not have the present right to do so. In these cases, the right to sue remains with the original or current creditor.

If a debt collector has violated a consumer’s rights under the FDCPA, the consumer can sue them for damages. The consumer could be entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000.00, as well as actual damages including, but not limited to harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions.