Boca Raton, FL – 3/24/2015 – Kunal Mirchandani, attorney at Klein Law Group in South Florida, has obtained a victory in a wrongful collection case he filed for his clients in The United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida. Judge Erik P. Kimball found that the Respondents, Exquisite Home Products, and International Financial Services Group, Inc., willfully violated the automatic stay within the bankruptcy code and ordered them to pay the Debtors a total of $85,894.70 which is comprised of $8,589.47 in actual damages and $77,305.23 in punitive damages.
In November 2014, Mr. Mirchandani filed a motion for damages for creditor misconduct stating that Exquisite Home Products and International Financial Services Group, Inc. used aggressive, unlawful collection efforts against his clients after they had filed for bankruptcy protection. The creditor’s coercion tactics included threats of arrest and property seizure which resulted in a post-petition loss of $1,007.97 to his clients.
Mr. Mirchandani argued that Exquisite Home Products’ blatant disregard for the automatic stay clause of the bankruptcy law and deplorable use of deceit necessitated punitive damages in addition to actual damages.
“Exquisite Home Products’ egregious violation of the automatic stay warrants punitive damages under 11 U.S.C. § 362(k),” Mirchandani said. “To recover damages under section 362(k) a debtor must show that (1) the debtor is an individual, (2) the respondent knew or should have known of the debtor’s bankruptcy case, (3) the respondent acted intentionally, and (4) the respondent’s act is prohibited by section 362(a). In the present action, my clients are individuals. Exquisite Home Products was given notice of the bankruptcy case at the time of filing and again during multiple conversations with my clients. Despite repeated notice, Exquisite Home Products took affirmative action to deceive my clients. The result was the successful violation of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) and my clients’ loss of $1,007.97.“
Judge Kimball agreed that the creditors willfully violated the automatic stay with inappropriate collection attempts and ordered them to pay the actual damages incurred by the debtors as well as punitive damages.
About Klein Law Group
Klein Law Group is a boutique South Florida law firm with conveniently located offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, providing professional legal services in the areas of bankruptcy law, divorce, family law and real estate law. Visit the Klein Law Group website for more information about Kunal Mirchandani or Klein Law Group’s other bankruptcy, divorce, family law and real estate lawyers.