July 10, 2013
Bank of America Faces Debt Collection Harassment Class Action Lawsuit
New York, NY: A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bank of America (BoFA) by a Florida resident, over allegations America’s biggest bank is in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.
Filed by Broward County resident Marc Katz, the lawsuit, entitled, Marc Katz v. Bank of America NA, case number 0:13-cv-61372, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges BoFA uses automated dialers to call the cellphones of people who have debt with the bank. In the putative class action, Katz claims that in 2010 BoFA launched a mortgage foreclosure action against him in Florida state court. The bank then continued to call his cellphone using automated dialing systems in an effort to try and collect the purported debt. This occurred even after the bank was told to contact Katz’s attorney for anything related to the foreclosure action, according to the lawsuit.
“Despite receipt of a letter of representation, and its inherent cease communication directive, defendant’s continued collection efforts involved the placement of autodialed calls and/or recorded messages to the cellular telephones of allegedly delinquent consumers,” the class action lawsuit states.
Further, Katz claims that when he answered the calls a machine-operated voice would advise him to “please hold for the next available representative,” forcing him to wait and listen to music or “dead air” before an actual person came on the line, the lawsuit states. “Defendant’s persistent and unlawful calling campaign was carried out with the intent to abuse and harass the plaintiff,” the lawsuit claims.
Katz launched the class action lawsuit on behalf of a putative class consisting of all individuals in Florida who were the subject of Bank of America’s debt collection activities related to their residential property in Florida and who were represented by counsel with respect to said debt and still received pre-recorded or auto-dialed calls on their cellphones from the bank over the past four years.
“The defendant’s policy and practice of refusing to acknowledge attorney letters of representation is so pervasive that the class of affected consumers is so numerous that joinder of all members of the class is impracticable,” the lawsuit states.
The complaint seeks statutory and actual damages, a permanent injunction barring the bank and any other party from calling Katz regarding the alleged debt, as well as a court declaration that the bank’s practices violated both the TCPA and the FCCPA.
Katz is represented by Bret L. Lusskin Jr. of Bret Lusskin PA and by Scott D. Owens.
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