LAWSUIT AGAINST BANK AND DEBT COLLECTOR TO PROCEED
A Lee County, Florida, judge found that collection actions by West Asset Management, working on behalf of Bank of America, amounted to harassment. The Plaintiff in the lawsuit, Linda Long, will now be able to present evidence to a jury in an effort to collect punitive damages from the collection outfit and B of A.
Judge Keith R. Kyle of Lee County, Florida, ruled that the actions by West Asset Management in attempting to collect a debt from Linda Long violated Florida law and constituted harassment.
This ruling could set precedent for debt collectors that seek to collect money from surviving relatives on debts accumulated by the deceased. Typically, banks and other lenders holding “death debts” will turn the delinquent accounts over to collection firms who specialize in death-debt collection. These debt collectors prey on relatives who unwillingly or unknowingly agree to pay the deceased’s debt even though they are not legally obligated to do so. Mrs. Long was subjected to harassment by the collection firm, who was calling her as many as ten times a day seeking to collect a nearly $17,000.00 credit card debt run up by her late husband.