Fair Debt Collection

Defense Lawyer for collection agency sanctioned and ordered to pay damages assessed against his client.

Fair Debt Collection PracticesIn the recent decision in Anchondo V. Dunn, 2013 WL 599798 (10th Cir., Feb. 19, 2013), the Tenth Circuit affirmed the award of sanctions by the District of New Mexico against defense counsel Steven R. Dunn (“Attorney Dunn”)  for failing to disclose insurance coverage of a now bankrupt debt collector, Anderson, Crenshaw and Associates, L.L.C. (“ACA”) .

 In this remarkable case, the appellate court affirmed the trial judge’s determination that Mr. Dunn in the course of defending a class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) acted in bad faith to deprive Ms. Anchondo of a potential recovery from the insurer of ACA. The district court found that Mr. Dunn acted in bad faith in failing to disclose the existence of insurance coveragefor the FDCPA claim despite requests during the discovery process.  As a sanction for litigation misconduct, the court ordered Mr. Dunn and Mr. Backal to pay Ms. Anchondo and her counsel the damages and fees owed by ACA plus the costs incurred in litigating this matter.

The Law Office of Robert W. Murphy litigates FDCPA cases against law breaking debt collectors. The FDCPA was enacted to  protect consumers from debt collection abuse. Indeed, in enacting the FDCPA,  Congress  found abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors and that abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasion of individual privacy.