An Alton woman claims a debt collector refused to leave her alone, even after she began making $25 payments in an attempt to resolve her financial obligations.

Carrie Weiss filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois Aug. 16 against Nationwide Credit.

In her complaint, Weiss alleges Nationwide Credit repeatedly made calls to her cell phone in an attempt to collect debt from her.

"Over the course of these phone calls, Defendant frequently became irate at Plaintiff and yelled at her, belittled her, and threatened her," the suit states. "Defendant told Plaintiff that she was also in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service as a result of her debt and threatened to 'turn in' Plaintiff to the Internal Revenue Service on account of her unpaid debt."

Before the phone calls began in October 2010, Weiss had agreed to pay off her debt with monthly payments of $25, according to the complaint. Despite Weiss's timely remittal of payments, Nationwide Credit continued to call her cell phone multiple times per day, the complaint says.

During the phone calls, Nationwide Credit threatened to sue Weiss, even though it was not legally eligible to do so, she claims.
Because of the threatening phone calls, Weiss suffered anxiety, depression, loss of sleep and emotional distress, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Weiss alleges Nationwide Credit violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Illinois Collection Agency Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In addition, she claims it breached its contract by continuing to call her after she began making the $25 monthly payments.

"In exchange for Plaintiff's promise to pay, Defendant agreed to forego all further collection activity," the suit states.

Weiss seeks an unspecified judgment, plus actual damages, statutory damages, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

James W. Eason and Richard A. Voytas Jr. of Eason and Voytas in St. Louis will be representing her.

U.S. District Court case number: 3:11-cv-687.

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