Pa. man files lawsuit against debt collection agency in federal court

By Jon Campisi | Oct 11, 2011

A debt collection agency that purportedly harassed the brother of a man whom the company was apparently attempting to collect a debt from is facing a federal lawsuit alleging that the agency violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Lawyers for Richboro, Pa. resident David L. Beck filed the civil action Oct. 5 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint, which was filed by Southampton, Pa. attorneys Tova Weiss and Iriana Blitshtein, alleges that Andover, MA-based Zwicker & Associates and three of its employees, named in the suit only as John Doe(s) 1-3, repeatedly called the plaintiff’s brother, Michael Beck, in an attempt to obtain personal information about David L. Beck.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants contacted Michael Beck in August of this year, saying they were calling to collect a debt upon his brother. The agents reportedly told Michael Beck that they “don’t have to stop calling because they were collecting a debt” of the plaintiff.

“Defendants communicated with third parties and intended to harass, annoy and/or abuse Plaintiff and the third party, Michael Beck,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims the defendants, through their actions, committed various violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including communicating with a person other than the consumer, communicating with a third party and disclosing that the plaintiff owed a debt, engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt, causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse or harass any person at the called number, and otherwise using false, deceptive or misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect a debt.

The lawsuit also contains an invasion of privacy count.

The plaintiff demands judgment in the form of statutory damages in the amount of $1,000, attorney’s fees, damages for emotional distress in the amount of $5,000, and other court relief.

For the invasion of privacy count, the plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-06256-JHS.

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