CHARLESTON – A Charleston man is suing a Kentucky-based law firm for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Bruce A. Fernett received a letter constituting a debt collection communication from Fenton & McGarvey Law Firm PSC in May, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Fernett claims the letter represented that he owed a current balance of $6,071.76 to Springleaf Home Equity Inc.

The letter also stated that no attorney at the firm had personally reviewed the particular circumstances of Fernett's account, however, the letter was signed by Steven Mulrooney, according to the suit,

Fernett claims he wrote to the law firm and informed them that he was represented by counsel, and provided the law firm with his attorney's contact information. He also requested verification of the alleged debt and posted the letter by certified mail.

The defendant never provided Fernett with verification of the alleged debt and on Aug. 7, the defendant mailed a second debt collection letter to Fernett, according to the suit.

Fernett claims the second letter made no mention of his demand for verification of alleged debt and instead, urged and encouraged him to contact the law firm.

The defendant knowingly employed unfair, deceptive, abusive and/or unconscionable debt collection practices against Fernett, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, according to the suit.

Fernett claims the defendant employed fraudulent, deceptive false and/or misleading representations and/or unfair or unconscionable means, in collecting or attempting to collect a claim from him.

Fernett is seeking actual damages and civil penalties. He is being represented by Gary M. Smith of Mountain State Justice.

The case is assigned to District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.

U.S. District Court for Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:15-cv-12282

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