Robbie Hargett Dec. 11, 2015, 8:17am


MIAMI (Legal Newsline) - Two Florida residents are suing a law firm and one of its attorneys over allegedly false representations connected to debt collection.

Raymond Welch and Kathleen Welch, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Dec. 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Frenkel Lambert Weiss Weisman & Gordon LLP and Antonio Caula, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act.

On Sept. 25, the lawsuit states, the defendants served the plaintiffs a summons and complaint seeking to foreclose their primary residence's mortgage, which was allegedly delinquent.

Attached to the defendants' complaint was a document titled "Notice Required by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act 15 U.S.C. Section 1692, As Amended," stating that the amount the plaintiffs owed may be greater because of interest, late charges and other charges.

However, the lawsuit alleges that the notice is not, in fact, required by the FDCPA because a complaint is a pleading, which is not considered an initial communication and cannot trigger the period of a consumer's rights to dispute pursuant to the FDCPA.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants' notice deceives consumers as to when and how their rights are triggered.

The plaintiffs and others in the class seek statutory damages, injunctive relief, interest, attorney fees, litigation expenses and other costs of the lawsuit. They are represented by attorneys Leo W. Desmond and S. Keley Jacobson of Desmond Law Firm in Vero Beach, Florida.

Southern District of Florida Case number 2:15-CV-14412-JEM

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