HUNTINGTON – A lawsuit against Elan Financial Service for consumer credit violations has been removed to federal court.

Federal court has jurisdiction over the case because the defendant is a national banking association, according to the Nov. 17 notice of removal.

A national banking association is deemed a citizen of the state in which it is located, the notice states. The defendant’s articles of association identify Cincinnati, Ohio, as the location of U.S. Bank's main office.

“Therefore, for diversity jurisdiction purposes, U.S. Bank is a citizen of Ohio,” the notice states.

Thomas Waugh and Kimberly Waugh claim that once they fell into arrears upon alleged indebtedness owed by them to the defendant, the defendant began to attempt to collect the alleged debt by placing telephone calls and sending letter to them, according to a complaint filed April 13 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The Waughs claim they would receive multiple phone calls each day and, as a result of the high volume of collection activities, they retained legal counsel to represent their interest in relation to the alleged debt.

The plaintiffs informed the defendant that they had retained legal counsel and provided the defendants with their attorney’s contact information, according to the suit.

The Waughs claim the defendant continued to attempt to collect on the alleged debt by placing telephone calls to them—not their legal counsel—and also sent them written communication.

The repeated nature of the defendants’ collection attempts caused the Waughs to endure stress and anxiety on a daily basis and also caused them to endure annoyance, worry and aggravation at the time of the collection attempts, according to the suit.

The Waughs claim the defendant violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit & Protection Act, invaded their privacy and caused intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Waughs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Matthew P. Stapleton and Scott G. Stapleton of Stapleton Law Offices.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-04378

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