Attorneys for Cleveland, Ohio-based DannLaw, one of the nation’s leading consumer protection law firms, today filed separate class-action suits in Federal Court against Phoenix Financial Services, LLC and Central Research, Inc. The suits allege that both firms have repeatedly violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the federal law that prohibits debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive and unfair practices.
Former Ohio Attorney General and DannLaw founder Marc Dann said the case against Phoenix Financial Services involves the firm’s efforts to collect “zombie” debt. “In Ohio, creditors are barred from suing to collect after four years,” he said. “But if the debtor makes a payment after the statutory time limit, the dead debt is brought back to life. That’s why the term zombie applies.”
“The law requires companies like Phoenix to tell consumers they aren’t obligated to pay a debt after the time limit has expired,” Atty. Dann continued. “Unfortunately, Phoenix and a number of other companies featured in a Washington Post story about the growing zombie debt industry, ignore that requirement and instead try to trick people into paying thousands of dollars they don’t actually owe. The practice is illegal and immoral so we’re asking the Court to make our clients whole and to bar the company from misleading consumers.” The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division at Cleveland.
According to Attorney Brian Flick, Managing Partner of DannLaw’s Cincinnati office, the suit against Central Research alleges that the Lowell, Arkansas debt collection firm has engaged in false, deceptive, and or misleading conduct by sending collection notices to debtors that list the amount due but do not disclose that the balance may increase due to late fees, interest, and other charges.
“A number of courts have ruled that debt collectors must tell consumers the amount they owe when they receive a demand letter will grow each and every day,’ Atty. Flick said. “Central’s conscious decision to disregard those rulings and the FDCPA have harmed our lead client and hundreds of other Ohioans. We’re determined to hold the company accountable for willfully violating the law.” The Central Research case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
Both suits seek statutory and actual damages and include a demand for a jury trial.
The pleadings and exhibits may be viewed/downloaded by clicking on the links below: