Case Results

The following are a few examples of the cases I have handled:

Boldt v. Quick Collect, Inc.

Boldt v. Quick Collect, Inc., Pierce County, Washington Superior Court Case No. 13-2-14613-0 ($206,218.30 bench verdict against Quick Collect, Inc.). Quick Collect, Inc. was found liable for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices act and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act for wrongfully garnishing a family's wages.

Where Credit Is Due

A major credit reporting agency told a Sprague man he owes half a million dollars in debt. The only problem? He says none of it is his.

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Equifax sends Washington Man Dozens of Stranger’s Credit Reports

A man from Sprague said he received up to 40 credit reports belonging to complete strangers, after he asked Equifax to investigate parts of his own credit file.

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$50,000 FDCPA Bench Verdict For Emotional Distress Caused By Collection Agency

Easbey & Hart v. Standley et al, Clark County Superior Court Case No. 13-2-03133-1

On December 8, 2014 in Clark County (WA) Superior Court, two consumers, Sharon Easbey and her grandmother, Karen Hart, obtained a $56,106.09 bench verdict against the Colorado debt collection agency James Standley & Associates. Of that bench verdict, $50,000 was for Ms. Easbey's emotional distress under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Superior Court Judge John F. Nichols presided. Attorney SaraEllen Hutchison was first chair at trial, attorney Sharon Cousineau was second chair, and the case was litigated at all stages up to trial by attorney Robert W. Mitchell. Standley and the other defendant debt collectors weren't there. They had defaulted on liability after plenty of notice, and so we proceeded to trial on the issue of damages.

We took this case all the way to the end because Standley & Associates bullied Ms. Easbey, a 24-year-old woman, to the point where she feared for weeks that she would lose what at the time was her new job. They cost her over $1,600 in lost sales commissions because of the stress, called every other day after being told to stop, said "we will take your job," said they were entitled to threaten her because she was "not a lawyer," used a fictitious court case number, and called her grandmother again and again, interrupting her grandmother's work as a bookkeeper. She lost sleep, was afraid to tell her boyfriend for weeks (they're now married) and was embarrassed to her grandmother. All over $400 in overdraft fees from when she was 18.

Judge Nichols determined that $50,000 was fair and just compensation for the emotional distress alone, and also trebled Ms. Easbey's lost sales commissions (came to $4,900), trebled Ms. Hart's lost wages (came to $117) and awarded the FDCPA statutory maximum of $1,000. Then, on December 23, 2014, Judge Nichols entered judgment in favor of Easbey & Hart for their attorneys' fees in the total amount of $20,000 and costs in the amount of $945.08, for a total judgment of $77,051.17.

Emotional distress is real. If you have been bullied mercilessly by a debt collection agency, to the point where your work has suffered and you have lived in fear, please contact Law Office of SaraEllen Hutchison, PLLC, for a thorough evaluation of your case: 888-339-3942.

Consumer Privacy: Douglass v. Convergent Outsourcing, 765 F.3d 299 (3rd Cir. 2014)

This was a precedential opinion holding that debtor's account number visible through envelope window violates the FDCPA.

Delta Management Associates, Inc.: $20,000 Judgment

This is a big win for consumers in Washington state. Two law firms working as co-counsel (Robert W. Mitchell, Attorney at Law, PLLC and Law Office of SaraEllen Hutchison, PLLC) fought to hold Delta Management Associates Inc. accountable for behavior such as calling a consumer after he told them he was represented by a lawyer, garnishing his wages without being afforded a hearing, calling him continuously at his place of employment and speaking to his co-workers, and calling his cellphone with an automated dialer. Delta Management Associates Inc. ultimately offered to have a judgment entered against it for $20,000, which is the document you see above.

Woman Sues Credit Agency After Misidentification

A Seattle woman is suing Experian credit reporting agency for creating a mixed credit file, combining her information with another woman’s.

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