According to a recent report by ABC News, New York City attorney Shimshon Wexler has filed a class action case against Capital One Bank in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (White Plains), alleging that the bank and its attorneys, the law firm of Cohen and Slamowitz, violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") by practicing illegal credit and collection practices.
The case comes on the heels of an investigation of Capital One by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") that culminated in July 2012 with a settlement in which Capital One agreed to pay a $25 million penalty, and to pay affected consumers $140 million for using deceptive marketing tactics. CFPB alleged that Capital One's call center operators pressured or misled consumers into paying for add-on products, such as payment protection and credit monitoring, when they activated their credit cards. In a press release issued at the time of the settlement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated, "Today's action puts $140 million back in the pockets of 2 million Capital One customers who were pressured or misled into buying credit card products they didn't understand, didn't want, or in some cases, couldn't even use. We are putting companies on notice that these deceptive practices are against the law and will not be tolerated." More information about the CFPB's investigation of Capital One can be found on the CFPB's website.
The class action against Capital One was filed on behalf of a class comprised of "all individuals with a New York address who have had an action filed against them in a Supreme Court of the State of New York for a consumer debt for less than $3,000" and in which Cohen & Slamowitz is Capital One's counsel. The allegations in the complaint include communicating with consumers at their place of employment after being asked not to, and publishing the consumer's name or address on a "bad debt list."