FDCPA Violation where Lawyer Duns and Sues with Limited Information on Debt

Collection firm Cohen & Slamowitz was found to have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for signing off on mass-produced complaints without having undertook reasonable measures to verify the factual and legal support for the claims. For example, Mr. Slamowitz "went on to concede his ignorance of two pivotal, although easily ascertainable facts: that the credit card agreement at issue was governed by Ohio law, and that Ohio law precluded the firm's claim for attorneys' fees.

The Firm attempted to escape responsibility by arguing that it met its standard of care by relying on the review of its predecessor firm. The judge rejected this argument by pointing out the fact that Cohen & Slamowitz's communication and database systems did not allow that firm to receive most of the information about the account anyway.

The court saw no evidence that Cohen & Slamowitz exercised any independent judgment when executing legal documents, and that conduct, according to this Eastern District Judge, violated basic FDCPA standards.

2009 WL 3212556 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 5, 2009), on remand from Miller v. Wolpoff & Abramson, LLP, 321 F.3d 292 (2d Cir. 2003).

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