Judge Denies Prevailing Party’s Motion For Attorney Fees in Clear Cut FDCPA Case

A recent opinion from the Honorable Robert D. Mariani, United States District Judge for the District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, highlights the challenges of defending Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) litigation, even when a defendant is vindicated in a trial.  The opinion in Hamburger v. Northland Group, Inc. (3:13-CV-01155), filed on February 10, 2015, discusses the request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for the prevailing party in an FDCPA case. A copy of the opinion can be found here.

The Background

Howard and Irene Hamburger, a husband and wife, filed a Complaint against Northland Group, Inc. on April 30, 2013 alleging causes of action under the FDCPA and Pennsylvania tort law. The Complaint alleged that Defendant, Northland Group, Inc. (“Northland”) repeatedly called the Plaintiffs to collect a debt of a third party identified only as “Henry”. It further alleged that neither Plaintiff was named Henry nor did they know an individual by that name. The Complaint further claimed that Northland called the Hamburgers every day to collect Henry’s debt, including “on occasion more than once in a single day, and that these calls continued even after Northland was informed that no one named Henry lived at the hamburger residence, and that Northland should stop calling about his debt.”

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