Powell v. Palisades Acquisition XVI, LLC, No. 14-1171 (4th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against Palisades, alleging violations of two provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692e and 1692f, and related statutes. Plaintiff, a credit card debtor, claimed that after Palisades purportedly purchased a judgment that had been entered against her in state court, it filed an Assignment of Judgment in the action that falsely represented its ownership of the judgment and misrepresented the amount she owed. The court concluded that the filing of an assignment of judgment in a debt collection act qualifies as debt collection activity that triggers the protections of the FDCPA; that the Assignment of Judgment that Palisades filed against plaintiff did not falsey claim Palisades' ownership of the judgment; and that the misrepresentations in the Assignment of Judgment as to the amount of the judgment and the amount of plaintiff's payments on the judgment were material. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment entered on plaintiff's FDCPA claim under section 1692e and remanded the claim. The court vacated the court's conditional ruling that the errors made in the Assignment of Judgment did not provide a basis for the "bona fide error defense" found in section 1692k(c). Finally, the court affirmed the judgment entered on plaintiff's section 1692f claim and her state-law claims.