The complaint for this class action alleges that Lawgix Lawyers, LLC, Lawgix, Inc., and attorney Michael D. Johnson provided false contact information in legal documentation. US Bank, NA is also named as a defendant, because the contact number provided went to US Bank and because the filings concerned a debt with US Bank that had already been satisfied. The complaint brings its allegations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The class for this action is all consumers in Minnesota who have had pleadings served on them by Lawgix in judicial court actions, between June 21, 2018 and June 21, 2019, in which Lawgix used misleading contact information.
The story this complaint tells is interestingly circular.
In or around 2006, Plaintiff Brian Imholte and his then-wife, Ann Imholte, incurred a debt with US Bank. This was a consumer debt—that is, one incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. At some point, the couple defaulted on the loan.
US Bank sued them for the debt in two different court cases, 62-cv-11-9259 and 62-cv-11-9254. In both cases, judgments were entered against the two.
In both cases, Satisfactions of judgments were later entered, for 62-cv-11-9259 on May 6, 2014 and for 62-cv-11-9254 on July 13, 2015. Copies of these Satisfactions of Judgment were attached to the complaint at filing as Exhibits 1 and 2. That should have been the end of that debt.
However, in 2019, US Bank seems to have assigned Lawgix and attorney Johnson to collect this debt. Around May 20, 2019, Lawgix and Johnson served Imholte with a Summons and Complaint pertaining to the debt.
Imholte then confirmed with the county court that the cases against him had been satisfied. He also confirmed with a representative of US Bank that the debt had been resolved.
Lawgix’s attempt to collect on a satisfied debt, the complaint says, is itself a violation of the FDCPA.
The papers served, the complaint says, “give an address for Defendant Johnson that is incorrect and misleading as Defendant Johnson is not a licensed Pennsylvania attorney nor does he practice at the address listed on the pleadings.” (The complaint does not explain this statement further.)
Also, the papers provide a false telephone number, the complaint says: When called, a recording says, “US Bank. Your account has been placed with Lawgix Lawyers. To speak with an attorney regarding your account please press 1. To be connected to US Nank representative [sic] regarding options on your account please press 2.”
According to the complaint, “Defendant Lawgix engaged in conduct the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, or abuse” Imholte in connection with the collection of a debt.
In addition to the violations of the FDCPA, the complaint lists counts of invasion of privacy, abuse of process, and malicious prosecution.