PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia man believes a California financial firm improperly pursued an alleged debt against him and violated federal and state laws in the process of doing so.

Shane Brannigan of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 27 versus Midland Funding, LLC of San Diego, Calif.

The lawsuit says that throughout the previous year, Midland Funding sought to collect $1,049.04 from Brannigan for a debt it alleged it was owed via assignment from Credit One Bank. However, Brannigan alleges Midland Funding misrepresented the status and legal nature of the alleged account, as there was no signed card-member agreement authorizing assignment of principal, fees or interest to defendant, and defendant lacked standing to file any lawsuit against Brannigan.

“Plaintiff alleges and avers that defendant repeatedly and continuously called plaintiff telephonically, as well as unrelated third-parties, at irregular times and places, and often times failed to identify itself and inform plaintiff of his rights. Plaintiff alleges and avers that defendant sought to collect amounts comprised largely of improper fees and/or interest,” the suit says.

Brannigan alleges that Midland Funding misrepresented that it had viewed and/or possessed computerized records and hard copy documents evidencing the opening of the alleged account, when in fact defendant never produced any executed account agreement or other signed documents demonstrating the opening of any account.

More specifically, Brannigan claims the affidavit of Nicole Hanke is replete with falsehoods pertaining to documents she reviewed, when in fact she merely reviewed a computer screen containing the minimal information allegedly produced by Credit One Bank in data files, and she never reviews any documents such as account applications, actual terms and conditions of contracts, payment histories, monthly credit card statements or charge slips. Brannigan further claimed the defendant filed a lawsuit against him in connection with its collection efforts.

Brannigan went on to say that despite him disputing the debt and demanding a trial date, Midland Funding failed to timely notify the relevant credit bureau and update the status of the alleged debt as disputed.

Despite losing the subsequent trial (and thereby having the alleged debt nullified), Brannigan says Midland Funding continued to report that same debt as delinquent and/or failed to timely notify the relevant credit bureau and update the status of the alleged debt as disputed, and caused him to suffer “material and ascertainable losses including, but not limited to: loss of time from work investigating the matter, time wasted attending to incessant communications, etc.”  

For counts of violating the Fair Credit Extension Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages of up to three times the actual damages sustained for violations, statutory damages of $100 for each violation of the FCEA, plus attorney’s fees, witness fees, court costs and other litigation costs, any other relief deemed appropriate by the Court.

The plaintiff is represented by Fred Davis of Davis Consumer Law Firm, in Horsham.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170903115

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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