BECKLEY – A man filed a class action lawsuit against Liberty University, claiming it violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
On July 28, Liberty University mailed Stephen Snuffer a letter informing him that he allegedly owed $2,470.89, with a possible interest of $892.80 and a possible amount due of $3,363.69, according to a complaint filed in Raleigh Circuit Court and removed to federal court Oct. 13.
Snuffer claims the letter informing him if he did not make arrangements to pay the alleged debt, he would be sent to collections.
The defendant is a debt collector and engaged directly or indirectly in debt collection, in violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, according to the suit.
Snuffer claims Liberty University attempted to collect a debt by threats or coercion and by engaging in unreasonable or oppressive or abusive conduct toward the plaintiff in connection with the attempt to collect a debt.
The letter Snuffer received is a fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means in an attempt to collect a debt in violation of West Virginia code, according to the suit.
Snuffer claims as a result of the defendant's actions, he has been annoyed, inconvenienced, harassed, bothered, upset, angered, harangued or otherwise was caused indignation and distress.
The lawsuit is also a class action lawsuit and the putative class includes all consumers with West Virginia addresses who were mailed letters like Snuffer in an attempt to collect a claim owed by a consumer at any time within four years prior to the filing of the civil action, according to the suit.
Snuffer is seeking actual and statutory damages. He is being represented by Ralph C. Young, Christopher B. Frost, Steven R. Broadwater Jr. and Jed R. Nolan of Hamilton, Burgess, Young & Pollard PLLC.
Liberty University is represented by John R. Merinar Jr. of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 5:15-cv-13921