Bank blames Putnam law firm for collection lawsuit

By Chris Dickerson | Dec 23, 2014

WINFIELD – A Kentucky bank blames a Putnam County law firm for a civil lawsuit being filed against it for debt collection calls.

Community Trust Bancorp Inc. filed its lawsuit against Atkins & Ogle Law Offices on Nov. 13 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Community Trust says it contracted with Atkins & Ogle, which is based in Buffalo, in March 2013 through its Kentucky law firm Fowler Bell PLLC to file suit against two individuals who owed money to the bank.

Instead, the bank says Atkins & Ogle didn’t file the suits. Rather, it claims the firm called the debtors on multiple occasions.

“The calls to the debtors rather than filing suit as contracted by Community Trust resulted in Community Trust being sued in a civil action in Raleigh County, West Virginia, for violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act,” the complaint states.

The bank settled the lawsuit, but says the law firm breached its agreement by failing to file suit and instead “conducting activities beyond that contracted for which resulted in a loss to Community Trust.”

The bank seeks the Raleigh County settlement amount of $60,000 as well as the sums of money lost by not filing the suits against the debtors. It also seeks $6,872.76 in attorney fees and expenses for the Raleigh County litigation.

The law firm filed a motion to dismiss the case against it.

In its motion to dismiss, the firm says it has handled previous cases for Community Trust in a similar manner.

“If a phone number is given, calls are made on the account,” wrote attorney Bree Whipp Ogle.

The motion to dismiss claims Atkins & Ogle followed industry standards and did nothing wrong.

The bank is being represented by Daniel J. Konrad of Huddleston Bolen in Huntington.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 14-C-273

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