A U.S. District Judge for the Central District of Illinois granted in part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment by Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC in a case that alleges violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In this case, our client received a loan and claims he made payments for a year and a half before losing his job and his ability to repay the loan. Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC had made arrangements with our client regarding another debt, and our client was paying $115 on that account. When our client received a letter from Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC about the loan, he called and spoke to a Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC employee. Our client wanted to finish paying off the first debt, and then begin paying on the loan. Our client says that Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC wouldn’t agree, and that the employee said, “We’ll just have to go get a judgment against you” He also claims that Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC told him that, if they took him to court and obtained a judgment, attorney fees “and all that stuff” would apply to his loan.
The judge ruled against Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC’s request for summary judgment for violating the provision of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that prohibits “any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.” Our client claims that Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC violated this provision of the FDCPA when they told our client that he had to make payments or Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg LLC would get a judgment against him and attorney fees “and all that stuff” would apply.
In her opinion, the judge ruled, “The statement that attorney fees apply would, at least on the record before this Court, be false because Loan Summary does not indicate that Plaintiff agreed to pay attorney fees if the lender were required to file suit to collect the debt.”
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