McKinney couple sues over past due utility bills

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Nov 18, 2013

SHERMAN - A McKinney couple has filed a lawsuit claiming that a debt collector is sending them someone else’s utility bills. 

Jamieson Pickens and Jennifer Pickens filed suit against Tek-Collect Inc. on Nov. 11 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant sent the Pickens a “Balance Verification” in July 2012 and another in September 2013.

The couple argues that the debt is not theirs, but is related to a previous residence.  According to the Pickens, a potential buyer moved into their residence and requested that the utilities be turned on, and the utility company mistakenly billed the plaintiffs instead of the potential buyer.

The plaintiffs claim they sent a cease-and-desist letter to the defendant, but the defendant allegedly continues to try to collect the debt.

The defendant is accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which prohibits debt collectors from engaging in abusive, deceptive and unfair practices.

The plaintiffs are seeking an award of actual damages, statutory damages, court costs and attorney’s fees.

They are represented by Gary A. Armstrong of Armstrong Kellett Bartholow PLLC in Dallas.

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

Case No. 4:13-cv-00655

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