Monday, July 30, 2012

Suit: Lawyer Letter Demanding Back Rent, Failing To Include Required Disclosure In Connection w/ F'closed Homeowner's Eviction Violates FDCPA

In St. Louis, Missouri, Courthouse News Service reports:

  • Deutsche Bank and a Missouri law firm evict people from their homes illegally, a couple claims in a class action in City Court. Sonja Lawson and Ross Schuman sued Boyd Law Group, of St. Peters, Mo., and Deutsche Bank National Trust. They claim the defendants evict people in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    Lawson and Schuman say they got a letter from the defendants on March 19, threatening legal action for back rent.(1) They say the letter failed to disclose that it was from a debt collector trying to collect a debt, and that though trustee's deeds claim their home was bought at a foreclosure sale, that was not the case.

    "Thus contrary to the express representation in defendant's form letter, Deutsche Bank National Trust did not purchase the plaintiff's home, but was assigned an illegal credit bid," the complaint states.

    "This representation by defendant is grossly misleading in that it not only conceals the true nature of the foreclosure sale from plaintiff, but also actively covers up the whole process of the credit bid being assigned by representing that Deutsche Bank 'purchased' the property."

(1) According to the lawsuit, the Defendants had earlier obtained a final judgment on the merits in an Unlawful Detainer action, and that said judgment was entitled to res judicata effect. The lawsuit then alleges that, six days after obtaining the final judgment, Defendants sent a letter to the foreclosed homeowners threatening to commence another action for back rent. The suit claims that, because Defendants threatened an action barred under principles of res judicata, they threatened an action they could not legally take. See lawsuit, paragraphs 8-14.

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