In July of 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the agency in charge of consumer protection in the financial marketplace, after receiving numerous complaints, filed suit against the collection firm, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates. The law firm, which operates its business predominately in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina was sued by the CFPB due to its abusive practices while using the courts to collect debts. In its complaint, the CFPB argues that the attorneys representing the firm failed to follow the letter of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) in pursuing debts and its conduct was a direct violation of the statute.
In response to the lawsuit, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, filed a motion to dismiss the CFPB’s complaint in its entirety. In its response to the motion, which was denied earlier this week, the Northern District of Georgia issued its opinion, in large part agreeing with the allegations put forward by the CFPB. In its complaint, the CFPB alleges that the law firm failed to have material involvement in the cases it filed. Which considering the firm filed just around 350,000 cases between 2009 and 2013, the allegation hardly seems unreasonable. If you break down the number of cases filed during the five year period, that would be just under 200 cases filed each week. It was utterly impossible for an attorney to have meaningfully reviewed and participated in the lawsuits that were filed against consumers.
The CFPB went on to argue that the attorneys of this collection firm were filing lawsuits using affidavits that were unfounded and had no real data to support the allegations. Based on the excessive number of lawsuits being filed by the firm per week, it seems unlikely that any attorney could find the time to gather such a vast amount of data on which to to base their affidavits. The CFPB alleged that the law firm violated both the FDCPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) when it conducted it business affairs using false, deceptive and misleading collection practices. The Opinion of the motion to dismiss, set forth the CFPB’s right to move forward in pursuing these allegations against the collection firm. Stay tuned to what will happen as the case heats up and the evidence comes out as to how Frederick Hanna & Associates, conducted its business affairs.
If you believe your rights have been violated under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and would like the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.