California firm illegally pursued debt, Philly litigant claims

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 4, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia woman believes a California financial firm improperly pursued an alleged debt against her and violated federal and state laws in the process.

Angela Montoni of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 22 versus Midland Funding, LLC, of San Diego.

The lawsuit says that throughout the previous year, Midland Funding sought to collect $1,189.27 from Montoni for a debt it alleged it was owed via assignment from Credit One Bank. But, Montoni 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 Montoni.

“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 her rights. Plaintiff alleges and avers that defendant sought to collect amounts comprised largely of improper fees and/or interest,” the suit reads.

Montoni 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.

In particular, Montoni claims the affidavit of Shelby Groskreutz contains falsehoods pertaining to computerized records and documents she viewed and possessed – 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. Montoni further claimed the defendant filed a lawsuit against her in connection with its collection efforts.

Montoni continued that despite her 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 supposed debt done away with), Montoni 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 her 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 violation of the Fair Credit Extension Act (FCEA) and Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), the plaintiff is seeking up to three times the actual damages sustained for violations, inclusive of compensatory damages and statutory damages of $100 for each violation of the FCEA, plus attorney’s fees, witness fees, court costs and other litigation costs and any other relief deemed appropriate by the Court.

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

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171102224

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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