We were retained in this situation to defend our client in New Jersey as she was being sued by Unifund CCR, a common debt buyer through the law firm of Ragan & Ragan, who commonly handle these debt collection cases in New Jersey. Our client was adamant that this alleged debt had been from a Citibank card that she had settled and resolved with Citibank a decade ago. We submitted our answer with affirmative defenses and demanded discovery from Unifund asking for proof connecting our client to this debt. Ragan & Ragan sent us a few years of statements from Citibank and a chain of multiple assignment of this debt from Citibank to Pilot Receivables, another debt buyer and finally to Unifund. As there were no actual purchases on any of the statements provided and since the debt had been bought and sold multiple times we believed that we had a great chance of having the case dismissed.
The debt in question was for almost $60,000 and so Unifund decided to file a motion for summary judgment asking the judge to rule in their favor without moving towards trial. New Jersey is not known for being consumer debt friendly as New York sometimes is so Ragan & Ragan attempted to lure our client into accepting a low settlement offer to resolve this matter. Our client was defiant and was able to recover documents from 2008 proving that this debt had indeed been settled and resolved in full with Citibank directly. She had the offer letter from Citibank and proof of her payment as well as a letter from Citibank stating that the debt had been satisfied. We immediately demanded that Unifund CCR dismiss the case against our client with prejudice or otherwise face a FDCPA action for blatantly false and deceptive collection practices. After a brief “investigation” Unifund dismissed the case in its entirety.