Missouri Woman Wins $83 Million Settlement After Debt Collector Makes A Costly Error

by | May 27, 2015

A Missouri jury ordered Portfolio Recovery, a large bad-debt buyer, to pay nearly $83 million to Maria Guadalupe Mejia, of Kansas City, Missouri, because they pursued her for a $1,000 credit card bill that didn’t belong to her. The jury found the collector violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which is a $250,000 fine. Further, it was found that because Portfolio Recovery maliciously prosecuted Mejia, they were ordered to pay $82,990,000 in punitive damages.

In 2013, Portfolio Recovery sued Mejia over the credit card debt even though it actually belonged to a man in Kansas City, Kansas with a similar name. The company sued Mejia for 15 months. In a written statement, Mejia said, “The lawsuit terrified me.”

When individuals hear from debt collectors, they often feel fear, even if the claim is not legitimate. The first thing consumers should do when they hear from a debt collector is ask the collector to validate the debt in writing. It is imperative to know your debt collection rights as a consumer so you don’t end up paying a debt that is not yours or allow the collection account to damage your credit standing.

Get a Free Consultation

Read Some of our Other Recent Posts

Real Estate Terms your Attorney Wants you to Know

Having familiarity with some basic real estate terms benefits people that want to buy or sell a home. Uncertainty about rights, duties, obligations, and contracts can lead to expensive mistakes that can be avoided. Very few people, however, want to read books like The...

When to Hire Lawyers that Specialize in Name Changes

Changing your name in Florida does not necessarily require the help of lawyers that specialize in name changes. Chapter 68 Section 7 of Florida Statutes Title VI, Civil Practice and Procedures describes all of the procedures needed to do this. Follow the instructions...

Guide for Recently Divorced Men in Boca Raton Part I

When prospective clients contact Klein Law Group to have our divorce attorneys initiate or respond to proceedings, major processes of life-change are underway. These changes can have a significant impact on one’s finances, happiness, and health.  Though every person...