BENTON —A man is suing a law firm for allegedly attempting to collect a previously settled debt during an arbitration proceeding.
Kurt Schutz filed a complaint on May 30 in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois against Michael K. Daming LLC, doing business as Wasinger Daming, alleging violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
According to the complaint, Schutz filed an arbitration demand against Regions Bank on Dec. 28, 2018 through attorney Jeremy Branch. However, the plaintiff then settled a debt with Regions Bank on March 21 for the balance of $3,115.28. The plaintiff alleges Regions Bank was assigned the right to collect debts owed to debt collector Apelles LLC for various personal, family and household transactions.
Then on March 27, David Wasinger of Wasinger Daming, counsel for Regions Bank, allegedly spoke with Branch requesting documentation. He then spoke with Branch again on April 1 requesting available dates for deposition of the plaintiff.
On April 3, Evelyn Sims, agent for the defendants, made a formal appearance in the arbitration between the parties. Two days later, Wasinger emailed Branch requesting additional documents and dates to depose Schutz.
Then on April 23, the defendant allegedly contacted Schutz demanding a payment for $11,178.87 as well as the $3,115.28 the plaintiff previously paid, the suit states.
Schutz alleges the defendant began to communicate directly with him even though he was being represented by Branch at the time, using false and deceptive attempts to collect the debt.
"Defendant is engaging in conduct, the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt by communicating with plaintiff directly when plaintiff is represented by an attorney and seeking payment of a debt no longer owed," the suit states.
The plaintiff seeks trial by jury, statutory damages of $100,000, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief deemed fit. The plaintiff is represented by Peter Cozmyk of Cozmyk Law Offices LLC in Independence, Ohio.
U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:19-CV-00566