Debt collector sued for calling debtor's friends, family

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 3, 2011, 6:58am

SHERMAN-An East Texas man is suing a collection agency after one of its agents contacted and harassed his friends and family.

Jimmy Cotten filed suit against Nelson, Hirsch & Associates Inc. on Dec. 15 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Cotten states that the defendant contacted his cell phone several times a day, contacted his cousin and called his friends on more than one occasion in an attempt to collect a debt. Cotten argues that these telephone calls were harassing and abusive tactics in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Texas Debt Collection Act.

He claims the defendant's actions have caused him to suffer from humiliation, anger, anxiety, emotional distress, fear, frustration and embarrassment.

The defendant is also accused of invasion of privacy by intrusion into private affairs and intentional infliction of emotional distress,.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of actual damages, statutory damages of $1,000 for each violation, costs of litigation, attorney's fees, injunctive relief and punitive damages.

Cotten is represented by Diana P. Larson of The Larson Law Office in Houston. Additional counsel includes Lemberg & Associates in Stamford, Conn.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10-cv-00687

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