CHARLESTON – A man is suing the Offices of Rockwell Copeland Roth LLC after he claims it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
On Dec. 15, Mark Tscherne received a phone call from John Belfort, a duly authorized representative of the New York-based defendant, who stated that the defendant was a legal processing firm and calling in reference to a civil lawsuit that was filed against him in an attempt to collect debt, according to a complaint filed Feb. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Tscherne claims he told Belfort to contact his attorney and provided his attorney’s contact information.
During the phone call, Belfort said that Tscherne needed to pay up or he would have to pay attorney’s fees from the lawsuit and that Belfort’s collections company would be filing, according to the suit.
Tscherne claims the defendant misrepresented the character, amount and/or the legal status of the debt and failed to advise him during the telephone call that it was a debt collector attempting to collect debt.
Upon information and belief, at the time of making the threat, the defendant had no intention of filing a lawsuit against Tscherne for the debt and had no authority to file a lawsuit against him for the debt, according to the suit.
Tscherne claims on Dec. 17, he received a second phone call from Belfort and during the phone call, Belfort yelled at him and threatened to sue him if he did not pay.
On Dec. 21, the defendant called Tscherne and left a message on his cell phone stating that he wanted an agreement or he would sue and assess the costs of the litigation against him and during the message, he disclosed that he was a debt collector and that Tscherne owed a debt, according to the suit.
Tscherne claims as a result of the defendant’s actions and FDCPA violations, he suffered personal humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish and emotional distress.
Tscherne is seeking compensatory damages and statutory damages of $1,000. He is being represented by Daniel K. Armstrong of Klein & Sheridan LC.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:16-cv-01490