New York City Debt Collection Defense Attorney

Debt Collector Faces Legal Battle for Pursuing Wrong Person Over Debt Due to Name Similarity

In debt collection, the bona fide error defense is a legal concept that might apply if an attorney mistakenly pursues a consumer for a debt that is not theirs, provided prompt corrective action is taken. However, if the attorney knowingly continues collection efforts after confirming the consumer is not the debtor, such actions could raise significant legal concerns under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This was the central issue in the case of B.H. v. Kavulich & Associates, P.C., 12-CV-5671, initiated on November 16, 2012.

The case in question involved a client who was erroneously sued for a debt due to a case of mistaken identity—a similarity in names led to a wrongful default judgment and the subsequent seizure of his bank account in 2009. Despite receiving substantial evidence of the error, including personal identification documents and a sworn statement from the actual debtor, the litigation continued for an extended period.

It is reported that a promise was made in 2010 to rectify the situation and return the seized funds, yet, litigation efforts persisted. It was not until after significant litigation that an agreement was reached to vacate the judgment and return the funds, albeit later than the court's 30-day deadline.

The client incurred various damages throughout this ordeal, including lost wages, legal costs, and travel expenses. These repercussions underscore the importance of diligent legal practice in debt collection and how such situations can affect individuals. While the funds have been returned, the client's experience is a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls within debt collection processes and the protective measures enshrined in the FDCPA.

This case highlights the importance of accurate and ethical behavior in debt collection. It serves as a reminder to both consumers and practitioners of the need for vigilance and the avenues available for addressing such issues within the legal system. For those facing similar challenges, it is crucial to be aware of your rights and the legal mechanisms designed to protect those rights in the face of debt collection disputes.

For a similar case study, see Pursued Twice for the Same Debt? Assert Your Rights Immediately!

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