Debt collector sued after contacting Plano man's grandparents

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 9, 2012, 11:23am


SHERMAN - A Plano man has filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania debt collector after his grandparents were contacted about his medical debt.

Claiming violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Debt Collection Act, Paul Smith filed suit against NCC, a division of Commonwealth Financial Systems, on Aug. 7 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Although he sent a cease and desist letter in December 2011 to the defendant, Smith states that he has received numerous telephone calls throughout the past year by the defendant in an attempt to collect a medical debt.

According to the lawsuit, in at least one of the telephone conversations NCC threatened to take legal action.

"In or around March of 2012, Defendant's collector went as far as to tell Plaintiff that delinquency on his loans was criminal and could lead to criminal proceedings," the lawsuit states. Smith argues that the defendant did not have the intent or the legal right to pursue criminal charges.

NCC allegedly contacted Smith's grandparents with regard to the debt.

The defendant is also accused of invading Smith's privacy by intruding upon her seclusion and negligent in its hiring, training, and supervision of debt collectors.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of statutory damages, compensatory damages, attorney's fees, court costs, and punitive damages.

Smith is represented by Amy L. Bennecoff of Kimmel & Silverman P.C. in Ambler, Penn. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00491

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