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Aronson v. Alternative Collections LLC

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

September 10, 2014

DAVID ARONSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ALTERNATIVE COLLECTIONS LLC, and BRUCE CLOUGH, individually, Defendants.

Thomas J. Lyons, Lyons Law Firm, P.A., and Thomas J. Lyons, Jr., Consumer Justice Center P.A., Counsel for Plaintiff.

No appearance for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

MICHAEL J. DAVIS, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment. [Docket No. 13] The Court heard oral argument on September 5, 2014. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

In 2006, Plaintiff David Aronson allegedly incurred a consumer debt related to a credit transaction with Hitachi Capital America Corp. (Verified Complaint "Compl." ¶ 5.) At some time before July 2013, the alleged debt was sold to Defendant Alternative Collections, LLC ("Alternative"). (Id. ¶ 6.)

On approximately July 10, 11, and 12, 2013, Alternative called and spoke with Plaintiff's 90-year old mother on the telephone. (Id. ¶ 7.) During the last conversation, Alternative's agent repeatedly asked Plaintiff's mother for information regarding Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 8.) Alternative's agent also told Plaintiff's mother that Plaintiff owed a debt and told her the amount that he allegedly owed. (Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff's mother explained that she was too old to listen to Alternative, and Alternative stated that the phone call had nothing to do with her age. (Id. ¶ 10.) She then told Alternative to stop calling and harassing her. (Id.)

On July 11, 2013, Defendant Bruce Clough, an agent for Alternative, sent Plaintiff's sister and brother-in-law an email with an attached collection letter addressed to Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶ 11; Compl., Exs. 1-2.)

On July 15, 2013, Plaintiff sent Defendants a cease and desist letter. (Compl. ¶ 14.)

B. Complaint

On October 16, 2013, Aronson filed a verified Complaint against Alternative and Clough in this Court. The Complaint asserts: Count I: Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") - 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.; and Count II: Intrusion upon Seclusion.

C. Service on Defendant Alternative

Plaintiff made multiple attempts to serve Alternative. First, Plaintiff attempted to serve Alternative at its location as listed with the New York Secretary of State, but discovered that this location was a UPS Store. ([Docket No. 10] Lyons, Jr. Decl. ¶ 4.) Second, Plaintiff located an attorney who had previously represented Alternative in another matter, but that attorney refused to accept service. (Id. ¶¶ 5-6.) Third, Plaintiff located a location at which Alternative was served in another lawsuit, but the attorney at that address told Plaintiff that the attorney had no authority to accept service on behalf of Alternative. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8.) Fourth, Plaintiff discovered that, on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, Alternative had named ...


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