Debt collector files amended answer to Madison County suit

Christina Stueve Apr. 27, 2012, 11:43am

American Recovery Services, a debt collector, filed an amended answer and affirmative defenses to a lawsuit against it on April 20.

A Madison County man claims that American Recovery Services violated the law when it repossessed his vehicle after he made a late payment.

Plaintiff Luther Calvert sued Santander Consumer USA in August, claiming Santander pounded on doors in his apartment building, disturbing the peace and publicizing his financial difficulties.

Santander responded by saying that no Santander employee, agent or representative participated in the repossession of the vehicle.

Santander does business in Illinois and is in the business of buying retail installment contracts executed by purchasers of new and used motor vehicles and serving as a third-party servicer for other companies' auto loan/retail installment contract portfolios, according to American Recovery Service's amended answer and affirmative defenses to the complaint.

Santander previously purchased Calvert's account with the original lender relating to the subject matter retail installment contract and motor vehicle, the document stated.

Calvert allegedly failed to make all required payments to Santander and his original lender for the vehicle.

Santander retained an independent contractor repossession company to locate and foreclose Santander's security interest in the vehicle, according to the amended answer.

The vehicle was possessed Aug. 18, 2010 by Santander's independent contractor repossession company, the answer states.

Santander, incorrectly sued as Santander Consumer USA, requests the court to enter a judgment in its favor, and against Calvert.

Santander claimed a third party - American Recovery Service, Inc. - was responsible for any damages Calvert may have incurred. Santander indicated it filed a third party complaint against the company.

Calvert is seeking a judgment of more than $70,000 and punitive damages of more than $50,000, plus attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Robert E. Ryan of Alton represents Calvert.

David J. Frankel and Kathleen M. Haggerty of Sorman & Frankel in Chicago represent Santander.

Madison County Circuit Case Number: 11- L-797.

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