Consumer sues debt collectors for filing lawsuit in a distant court

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Mar 12, 2012

MARSHALL - A Gilmer County consumer has filed a lawsuit against several debt collectors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by filing a lawsuit in a distant court.

Roberta Ford filed suit against Samara Portfolio Management, Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka P.C. and Joseph Onwuteaka on March 7 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

At issue is a retail installment contact that Ford signed on Dec. 16, 2003, for the purchase of a 2004 Kia Sorento, which was signed in Gregg County.

According to court documents, the defendants filed a lawsuit against Ford in a Justice Court in Houston, Harris County on Jan. 24, 2011. The lawyers are attempting to recover a deficiency judgment of $8,376 and attorney's fees of $1,600. The case is currently pending and has not been set for trial.

Ford claims that the defendants are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by filing the lawsuit to collect on a consumer debt in a distant forum, the suit states.

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

Ford is represented by Richard Tomlinson of Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00095

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