Indiana Consumer Law Group/The Law Office of Robert E. Duff announces the filing of a lawsuit against Greenwood-based medical debt collector Med-1 Solutions, LLC and collection attorney Shannon Melton. The lawsuit, which has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, alleges that Med-1 Solutions and attorney Melton violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) when they filed a collection lawsuit on behalf of St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center against an Indiana consumer in the wrong county. The FDCPA provides that a debt collector (including collection attorneys) may only file a debt collection lawsuit on consumer debt in the county where the consumer is residing or where s/he signed the contract sued upon. In this case, the consumer/plaintiff alleges that he lived in Boone County, received medical services and signed the patient consent form in Hamilton County, but was sued by Med-1 and Melton in Marion County Small Claims Court. The consumer/plaintiff is seeking an award of actual damages, statutory damages, costs and attorney fees.
This lawsuit highlights another important provision of the FDCPA. A debt collector violates the FDCPA if it sues you in a county OTHER than were you currently live or where you signed the contract sued upon. The purpose of this provision is to prevent debt collectors from suing consumers in locations where it is very inconvenient or difficult for them to get to court to defend themselves. It is a powerful part of the FDCPA.
Here at the Indiana Consumer Law Group/The Law Office of Robert E. Duff, we defend consumers who have been sued by debt collectors. We prefer, however, to sue debt collectors (in federal court) for violating the FDCPA because in that situation the debt collector pays our fees instead of the consumer. Sometimes a debt defense case leads to the discovery of an FDCPA violation. A lawsuit against the debt collector then often results in the resolution of both cases in a way that is favorable to our clients. If you have been sued and don’t know where to turn, click here to contact us for a no-cost evaluation.