The defendant in a Madison County case over allegations that a debt collector broke the law when it repossessed a vehicle has asked for more time to answer the complaint.

Luther Calvert filed suit Aug. 10 in Madison County Circuit Court against Santander Consumer USA.

Kathleen M. Haggerty of Sorman & Frankel in Chicago will be representing Santander. On Sept. 23, Haggerty asked for an additional 28 days to answer.

In his complaint, Calvert alleges Santander held the loan for the 2004 Chrysler Sebring he purchased for $18,105.75 in October 2004. Calvert began making monthly payments to Santander after his purchase, but was late for several of those payments, according to the complaint.

On Aug. 18, 2010, at about 11:30 p.m., when Calvert had $1,830.73 left to pay on his vehicle, Santander repossessed the Sebring, the suit says.

During the repossession process, Santander pounded on doors in Calvert's apartment building, subsequently disturbing the peace and publicizing the financial difficulties of the plaintiff, the complaint says.

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.

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

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