CALL
There when you need us. Fighting to protect your rights.
  1. Home
  2.  — 
  3. Firm News
  4.  — Was Performant Recovery, Inc. Sued for Allegedly Committing Unlawful Debt Collection in Violation of the FDCPA?

Was Performant Recovery, Inc. 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 Northern District of Alabama in the Western Division, a federal lawsuit was filed against Performant Recovery, Inc (“Performant Recovery”), 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 this case is Case No. 7:14-cv-00484-SLB.

The plaintiff alleged that Performant Recovery tried to communicate with her at her workplace in order to collect her debt. However, the plaintiff alleged that these communications occurred after the defendant was made aware that their actions inconvenienced the plaintiff and that such behavior was not allowed by her employer. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that by continuing communication after they were informed to stop, Performant Recovery used unfair means in the collection process. The plaintiff then alleged that the actions of the defendant vilified her in regard to her alleged unpaid debt, created hostility between the defendant and the plaintiff, and caused her emotional distress. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the FDCPA by communicating with her at a known inconvenient time or place, by communicating with her even though the defendant knew that the employer prohibited its communication, and by acting in a way that harassed the plaintiff.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Performant Recovery in the United States District Court for the District of Utah in the Central Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:13-cv-00619-BCW.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that Performant Recovery used deceptive means in order to collect her debt, which was in violation of the FDCPA. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant falsely told the plaintiff that there was a judgment against her and that because of the judgment, they could garnish her wages. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant falsely represented her debt by increasing the amount of the debt that she owed and by accusing her of owing a false debt. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant used language that was meant to abuse her by saying statements like she, “[D]oesn’t know what she’s talking about.” As a result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered emotional distress and negative feelings like humiliation and embarrassment. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant did not provide her with the notices required by the FDCPA, which it should have given her in its first communication with her or within five days thereafter.

In the United States District Court for the District of Maine in the Bangor Division, another federal lawsuit was filed against Performant Recovery and its debt collectors. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated both the FDCPA and the Maine Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:13-cv-00158-JAW.

The plaintiff alleged that she had originally incurred a debt under her maiden name that was transferred to the defendant for collection. She alleged that Performant Recovery started to make calls to her phone in order to collect her alleged debt and that the defendant’s agent told the plaintiff that he was “Jim Lawson.” The plaintiff alleged that the defendant did not disclose itself to be a debt collector and did not reveal that the call was a debt collection attempt. The plaintiff then alleged that the defendant called her cellphone at 5:15 a.m. and 12:45 a.m for debt collection purposes, and that these calls were in violation of the FDCPA because they occurred during the hours of which a debt collector legally cannot place collection calls (between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m). Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had called her cell phone more than fourteen times in a single day and that these calls were made with the purpose to annoy or harass her. She also alleged that in one of their phone calls, the defendant threatened to take her driver’s license from her even though it did not have the legal ability to carry out this action.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Performant Recovery in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:13-cv-03727.

In this case, the plaintiff had allegedly incurred five different student loan debts from River Forest State Bank, the original creditor, and the loans were assigned to Educational Credit Management Corporation (“ECMC”). The plaintiff alleged that she had defaulted on these loans in 1993 but that the five loans were then reduced to two distinct judgments in 1996. The plaintiff then alleged that in 2013, she received two letters from Performant Recovery, who were tasked for debt collection. She alleged that these letters contained incorrect information regarding her original creditor and that they also contained deceptive information because they threatened to report her debt on her credit report even though this was not legally possible due to the amount of time that had passed from her original default date. Afterwards, the plaintiff allegedly called the defendant to ask about the balance mentioned in the letters and the statements on credit reporting. The plaintiff was then allegedly contacted by an employee of the defendant who told her that the balance in the letters was the total amount of her five loans, that the debt was already on her credit report, and that they could take away her professional licenses if she did not make a payment for the debt. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s statements were false and misleading. She also alleged that the defendant’s actions were in violation of the FDCPA because the defendant misrepresented her alleged debt, by stating that she owed five debts instead of two, and the identity of her initial creditor; falsely told her statements and threatened actions that could not legally occur or actions that they could not legally take; used unfair means during the collection process; and did not provide her with the required notice within five days of the initial communication.

In the United States District Court for the District of Utah in the Central Division, another federal lawsuit was filed against Performant Recovery and its employed debt collectors. The plaintiff alleged that the company violated both the FDCPA and the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act. The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:14-cv-00755-DAK.

The plaintiff alleged that he incurred a debt from Sallie Mae which was then transferred to Performant Recovery for collection purposes. The plaintiff then alleged that, in an attempt to try to collect the debt, the defendant began to make calls to the plaintiff’s workplace and even had communication with the plaintiff’s employer. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant informed his employer that it was an attorney’s office and it revealed that the purpose of the call was to collect a debt from the plaintiff, which caused the plaintiff to experience both embarrassment and distress. After, the plaintiff alleged that his employer told Performant Recovery that it had to stop its calls because personal calls were not allowed at work. However, the plaintiff alleged that despite his employer’s demand, the defendant continued to call the plaintiff’s workplace. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s behavior violated the FDCPA because the defendant falsely represented itself, communicated with the plaintiff at an inconvenient time and place, continued the communication after knowing that it was prohibited by the employer, and acted in a way that harassed or abused the plaintiff. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that his daughter was also contacted by the defendant and that the defendant told her information about the plaintiff’s debt. The plaintiff alleged that this action was also a violation of the FDCPA because the defendant communicated details about the plaintiff’s debt to a third-party individual that was not the plaintiff, his attorney, or a credit agency.

There was another federal lawsuit that was filed against Performant Recovery in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The company was sued for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 5:13-cv-00020-TJH-DTB.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant contacted him in order to collect his debt and threatened to garnish his wages. The plaintiff alleged that this was a violation of the FDCPA because the defendant did not have the legal ability to begin garnishment proceedings against him and that the defendant could only recommend for the original creditor to attempt legal proceedings against the plaintiff. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant threatened to take legal action against him which it also did not have the ability to carry out. Similar to the garnishment proceedings, the plaintiff alleged that only the creditor could take legal action against him. Additionally, he alleged that the defendant’s statements and actions were intended to harass the plaintiff, produce hostility, and cause emotional distress. The plaintiff alleged that by threatening him with false statements and by giving misleading information, the defendant acted unconscionably and unfairly during its debt collection attempts and that these 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 places restrictions on certain debt collection practices 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 does not have the right to call a consumer 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 stop calling 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, as well as actual damages including, but not limited to harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions.