Friday, 22 May 2015

US Woman Awarded $82M after “Malicious Prosecution” by Debt Collector

A US woman has been awarded over $82,990,000 in punitive damages after being wrongfully pursued by a debt collector for a bill she didn’t owe. The debt collection agency, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, was found guilty of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act after maliciously prosecuting Maria Guadalupe Mejia for a $1,000 credit card bill that belonged to someone else.

Glenn Duker

Mejia was sued for the debt in February 2013, after which she was wrongfully pursued for 15 months. The real debtor was a man who had a similar name to Mejia.

A spokesman for Portfolio Recovery Associates stated “this outlandish verdict defies all common sense… a verdict of this size is not justice by any means”.

Glenn Duker’s Opinion

As an experienced lawyer, Glenn Duker agrees that the awarded amount is exorbitant, but believes that Mejia is entitled to punitive damages after enduring the pursuit of the debt agency. He also recommends some top tips to help others avoid a similar situation. Firstly, if you’re being pursued by a debt collector, it’s crucial to get the collector to validate the debt in writing. Secondly, you should make sure you don’t end up paying for a debt that isn’t yours. Finally, you need to ensure that the wrongfully attributed debt isn’t going hurt your credit rating. 

If you need legal help or representation, solicitor Glenn Duker has the experience and expertise to help. Get in touch today to gain access to expert knowledge and assistance. 

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