This case of mistaken identity-turn-into-nightmare actually happened. In December 2015 and January 2016, “P&R”, a law firm that represents creditors, sent Mr. Garcia paperwork regarding a lawsuit that pertained to another individual with his name. Mr. Garcia informed P&R of the mix-up and provided identifying information to show P&R was sending paperwork to the incorrect Garcia.
Despite being aware of its error, P&R then did the following against the incorrect Mr. Garcia:
P&R continued sending paperwork regarding the collections lawsuit;
P&R recorded a notice of involuntary lien/abstract of judgment with the County of Los Angeles against Mr. Garcia’s real property; and
P&R levied thousands of dollars from Mr. Garcia’s bank account through a bank levy.
Enough was enough. Mr. Garcia retained Golden & Cardona-Loya, LLP to file suit for P&R’s relentless debt collection against the wrong person. Following resolution of the matter, P&R agreed to pay $22,500 and cease all collection activity against Mr. Garcia. P&R’s actions against Mr. Garcia’s property and bank account were further undone.
Unlawful debt collection can still occur even if you do not owe any money or a valid debt even exists. Baker v. G.C. Serv. Corp., 677 F.2d 775, 777 (9th Cir. 1982); see also McCartney v. First City Bank, 970 F.2d 45 (5th Cir. 1992).
Irrespective of whether a person owes money or not, creditors must still comply with Federal and State laws in their collection efforts. Whether it be harassing and/or excessive phone calls, identity theft, incorrect credit reporting or other form of unlawful debt collection, the attorneys at Golden & Cardona-Loya, LLP are here to help! If you believe you’re a victim of unlawful debt collection, you may have rights to enforce in the Courts. Do not hesitate to call or visit our office.