EAST ST. LOUIS — A Granite City man is suing a New Jersey debt collector, citing alleged harassment during debt collection efforts.
Brian K. Crippen Sr. of Granite City filed a complaint on Feb. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Freedom Mortgage Corporation, alleging it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Nov. 2, 2015,
he received an order of discharge of all debts
after filing a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois surrendering his property.
The discharge states that no debt collector is permitted to contact him by mail, phone or otherwise to collect the debt. On June 20, 2016, plaintiff received a letter demanding payment currently due in the amount of $30,685.23 and a principal balance of $88,159.19. The letter also states that failure to settle will result in foreclosure and late payment will result in additional fees.
As a result, plaintiff was unduly inconvenienced and suffered emotional distress.
The plaintiff alleges Freedom Mortgage Corporation continued to attempt collection from a debtor who is protected by an order of discharge, failed to have a system in place to identify and cease the collection of debts included in or discharged in bankruptcy and failed to scan its database to prevent unlawful collection of the debt.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks punitive damages, costs, reasonable attorney fees and any other relief as the court deems just and appropriate.
He is represented by Kimberly D. Wirth of Law Offices of William A. Mueller LLC in Belleville.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-00137