California finance firm improperly pursued debt, plaintiff claims

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 19, 2017

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

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

Craig Watson of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 7 versus Midland Funding, LLC of San Diego, Calif.

The lawsuit claims that throughout the previous year, Midland Funding sought to collect $3,344.71 from Watson for a debt it alleged it was owed via assignment from Comenity Capital. But, Watson 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 Watson.

“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.

Watson claims 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, Watson claims the affidavit of Kianna Sheridan 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 Comenity Capital in data files, and she never reviewed any documents such as account applications, actual terms and conditions of contracts, payment histories, monthly credit card statements or charge slips. Watson further claimed the defendant filed a lawsuit against him in connection with its collection efforts.

Watson continued 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), Watson 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 Willow Grove.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171200921

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

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