Baltimore Jury Delivers $38 Million Verdict in Debt Collection Case

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According to a report by WBALTV11 in Baltimore, a jury delivered a verdict against Las Vegas-based debt buyer LVNV Funding, LLC (LVNV). At $38 million, it is the largest judgment against a debt collector in Maryland history. The award will reportedly be split among 1,589 people.

 

At the core of the lawsuit were claims by the plaintiff that LVNV was not licensed as a collection agency, as required by Maryland law, when it obtained the district court judgments in collection actions against the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs sought to represent a class comprised of all persons against whom LVNV had obtained a judgment for an alleged debt in Maryland state courts during the period of time in which LVNV was unlicensed. The plaintiffs relied on a June 28, 2013 Opinion from the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland which determined that all LVNV judgments that were obtained when the company was not licensed were void.

Ronald Canter, attorney for LVNV, offered this statement, “This case was completely without merit and as such, the company is determined to receive a fair and impartial hearing. In the end, we believe the Court will absolve LVNV and find that it has always operated within the letter and the spirit of the law and with the utmost transparency with our clients.”

insideARM Perspective

The case was in the Circuit Court for Baltmore City. insideARM was unable to locate any associated court documents. The story on WBALTV.com did not include any facts or background from the case, but was largely comprised of quotes from the National Consumer Law Center attorney who represented the Plaintiffs.

In 2011 insideARM reported on a different class cation settlement in Maryland involving LVNV with similar issues. In that case the settlement called for LVNV to pay $2,000 each to the two named lead plaintiffs and make an additional $150,000 payment to the class attorneys to cover legal fees. LVNV also agreed to stop legal collection action against the roughly 3,500 members of the class.

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Posted in Collection Laws and Regulations, Debt Buying, Debt Collection, Featured Post .

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  • avatar SYSM says:

    Hope you all can send someone over to the courthouse to get copies of the filings in the case, or ask Ron. I am dying to know how you get that much $$$ out of an FDCPA class action. I am guessing the jury was just asked to award damages in its discretion, and then the judge, in post-trial motions practice, will cut the statutory damages down to the cap (which the reporter did not report on/did not understand because he is not familiar with this type of litigation).

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