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Costs to Defend an FDCPA Case in Federal Court


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I have some rough ideas of what I believe the answer to be. I know the answer will be around a certain sum. However, has anybody been privy to the costs in defending an FDCPA case in federal court.

I was told by opposing counsel several years ago, when I was involved in a state court FDCPA case I had run up 21K in legal fees for their client, they knew what I was doing and I was getting ready to get hit with all those fees when I lost, but I could settle now and avoid that risk. Real smart move, like that did not just motivate me even more.

I have no idea if they were lying, it seemed like a lot since we were still in the pre-trial stages. I was very proud, but of course fired off a comment that I had some work to do if that was all I had run up, and since I'm not going to lose I could care less how much the fees are.

It's okay to guess, but I'm really looking for those that have actual knowledge or have heard from reliable sources. Of course there will be tons and tons of discovery along with oral arguments for every single motion. In other words if there is something that can be filed or argued orally, it will happen. Won't be anything technically frivilous but if it can be argued or filed, it's going to happen.

If anybody has some good info, I appreciate it. If you know in hours, that is fine also, I can do the math. Just looking at every angle as the filing date of this suit is right around the corner.

Of course I'm going to win, that's a given, losing is not even an option, it's just a matter of how bad :D I just want to inflict the most pain to the old pocketbook as I can. Looking for a number to shoot for.

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I can only give you a proxy. In McCullough v Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger, they lost and paid something like $100k in attorney's fees to the plaintiff's attorneys. There's no rule that says that the CA is going to spend as much in attorney's fees and reasonable costs as the plaintiff, but it's a good place to start.

Edited by usagi555
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I can only give you a proxy. In McCullough v Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger, they lost and paid something like $100k in attorney's fees to the plaintiff's attorneys. There's no rule that says that the CA is going to spend as much in attorney's fees and reasonable costs as the plaintiff, but it's a good place to start.

They would only have had to pay something like $25.00 a month. or maybe they should have gotten a craigslist law firm.

I think for the Komarova v. national credit acceptance the paid like 28,000 in legal fees on plaintiff side and a little less than that on respondents side (both sides had extensive amicus help)

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I have some rough ideas of what I believe the answer to be. I know the answer will be around a certain sum. However, has anybody been privy to the costs in defending an FDCPA case in federal court.

I was told by opposing counsel several years ago, when I was involved in a state court FDCPA case I had run up 21K in legal fees for their client, they knew what I was doing and I was getting ready to get hit with all those fees when I lost, but I could settle now and avoid that risk. Real smart move, like that did not just motivate me even more.

I have no idea if they were lying, it seemed like a lot since we were still in the pre-trial stages. I was very proud, but of course fired off a comment that I had some work to do if that was all I had run up, and since I'm not going to lose I could care less how much the fees are.

It's okay to guess, but I'm really looking for those that have actual knowledge or have heard from reliable sources. Of course there will be tons and tons of discovery along with oral arguments for every single motion. In other words if there is something that can be filed or argued orally, it will happen. Won't be anything technically frivilous but if it can be argued or filed, it's going to happen.

If anybody has some good info, I appreciate it. If you know in hours, that is fine also, I can do the math. Just looking at every angle as the filing date of this suit is right around the corner.

Of course I'm going to win, that's a given, losing is not even an option, it's just a matter of how bad :D I just want to inflict the most pain to the old pocketbook as I can. Looking for a number to shoot for.

Once you need a court reporter the cost curve goes way up. so depositions are another cost generator.

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They would only have had to pay something like $25.00 a month. or maybe they should have gotten a craigslist law firm.

I think for the Komarova v. national credit acceptance the paid like 28,000 in legal fees on plaintiff side and a little less than that on respondents side (both sides had extensive amicus help)

M v JRL was a nasty one that went all the way to trial. I'm not sure what got added for the appelate level legal work. Anyhow, it's a wonderful case:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2011/03/04/09-35767.pdf

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My case against LVNV:

Plaintiff's legal fees were about $46k, they paid my legal fees of about $38k - totaled about $80k...

Case against an NDA JBD- their legal fees were $12.5k - we never went to trial, it was a filed answer and negotiations.

Now that's what I'm talking about and was looking for. So maybe the 21K was not an exaggeration. We were way past an answer and negotiations.

Thanks for the info.

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The question I have is this....what happens if a pro se is under a court order to pay the other side's legal fees and he doesn't? Is this contempt of court on a federal level? What actions will follow?

Good question, I would say it would not be contempt.

I won't get the change to find out. You have to lose in order to be hit with legal fees. I'm not going to lose. :twisted:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Are you telling me that if you file a civil suit and you lose you have to pay the other side's legal fees just because you lost?

I have never heard of such a thing...

What is this based on and since when?

Is this only if you are pro se?

Does this mean if I file a suit in federal court here in NY that is completely warranted and something goes wrong, like my attorney not doing his job properly I could be hit for the defendant's legal fees?

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Under the FDCPA you can't be hit with the other sides costs unless your suit is deemed to only harass the other side and has no merit.

So basically no, in an FDCPA suit, unless you just go with something insane or don't know the rules of procedure and just show you are there to make life hard on the other side and not really pursue a claim.

Generally speaking, you won't get with atty fees or costs, even if you lose, unless it is written in the statute that atty are to be awarded.

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Last year there was an ACA internal article circulated that stated that current costs of answering and negotiated settlement was nearing $7. I know that when I pursued a class action that was fought tooth and nail by the CA there was mention that the CA paid their lawyer something north of $100k, while paying mine about the same amount. 2 years of motion practice can get expensive.

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So we know why the CAs/JDBs want to settle these cases ASAP...filing an answer and negotiating a settlement can cost upwards of $7k...which makes no sense if it's over an alleged debt of a couple hundred dollars...

I know in my case - we went to MSJ and the legal fees were pushing $80k.

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