The complaint for this class action alleges that debt collectors CACH, LLC and Messerli & Kramer, PA violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as well as the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act (NCPA) when they file against consumers in the Nebraska courts.
Two classes have been proposed in this action.
The FDCPA Class is (a) all persons with Nebraska addresses (b) against whom CACH and Messerli & Kramer filed a county court collection complaint in the form of Exhibit A to this complaint without attaching the contract underlying the lawsuit (c) in an attempt to collect an alleged debt (d) which records show was for personal, family, or household purposes, (e) between April 12, 2018 and April 12, 2019.
The NCPA Class is similar, but is brought under Nebraska law, with a longer class period of April 12, 2015 to April 12, 2019.
The FDCPA tries to protect consumers from abusive or unfair tactics used by third-party debt collectors. Many class actions brought against these debt collectors are complaints about the debt collection letters they send to consumers. In this case, the complaint alleges that the debt collectors do not provide sufficient information when they file against consumers in the Nebraska courts, among other things.
CACH is a buyer of debts originated with other parties which then tries to collect the debts. Messerli & Kramer is the law firm it uses to accomplish the collection.
In this case, CACH brought suit against plaintiff Victor E. Schmitt for an alleged debt, incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. Messerli & Kramer are the lawyers for the suit.
The complaint for that case is extremely brief, claiming that Schmitt entered into a contract, that he defaulted, and that the amount still owing is $16,370.25. The complaint for this action points out that a great deal is missing: a copy of the original contract, the name of the original creditor, and CACH’s relationship to the original contract.
Even worse, the complaint claims that the debt is time-barred, or outside the statute of limitations for collection, since Schmitt supposedly entered into the contract in 2007.
The complaint says that Schmitt did not know what contract was involved, what it was for, the dates of the charges, and so on.
Schmitt consulted an attorney, then filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or for More Definite Statement. The court, the County Court of Sarpy County, Nebraska, granted the motion and dismissed the case with prejudice. CACH filed a Motion to Reopen, claimed that its counsel had “forgotten to docket” and the case was reopened. The suit was finally dismissed without prejudice.
However, Schmitt has now filed this class action, alleging that CACH and its law firm routinely file inadequate complaints without the information needed for consumers to know what debt the case is referring to.