Debt Collection Practices

Fair Debt Collection Practice: Litigation Privilege

By on October 11, 2009 - Comments off

Komarova v. National Credit Acceptance, Inc., (First District, June 25, 2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 324, 95 Cal.Rptr.3d 880, 09 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 8174, 2009 Daily Journal D.A.R. 9455

A woman filed an action against a debt collection agency, alleging that the defendant had engaged in abuses in violation of the Robbins-Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Civil Code section 1788 et seq.). Asserting causes of action for statutory violations as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had not only mistakenly pursued the wrong individual, but had engaged in debt collection abuses such as harassing phone calls, calling without disclosure of identity, unreasonably frequent harassing communications and judicial proceedings without service of process.

Appealing from a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant contended that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the litigation privilege of Civil Code section 47, which affords litigants and witnesses free access to the courts without fear of being harassed subsequently by derivative tort actions. The court of appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the litigation privilege did not apply to the cause of action under the Rosenthal Act, but did apply to the cause of action for emotional distress: Read the rest »