A Kansas City woman won $83 million in a lawsuit she filed against a debt collector for illegal debt collection practices for a $1,000 credit card bill. The Missouri jury found the collection agency, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, guilty of “malicious prosecution.”
The agency reportedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for which it will pay $250,000 in damages. Maria Guadalupe Mejia was also awarded $82,990,000 for malicious prosecution over a credit card debt that did not belong to her.
PRA Group Inc., which owns Portfolio Recovery Associates, sent a statement about the verdict to Credit.com. “This outlandish verdict defies all common sense. We hope and expect the judge will set aside this inappropriate award, and we plan to file motions to make that request formally in the near term. Any fair reading of the facts of this case makes plain that a verdict of this size is not justice by any means, and cannot stand,” spokesman Michael McKeon wrote.
In 2013 Portfolio Recovery sued Mejia over credit card debt that belonged to a man in Kansas City, Kansas, with a similar name. The agency, which is one of the nation’s largest debt buyers, attempted to collect on the debt for over a year after Mejia first received notice of the lawsuit.
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