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Excerpt from Courts
Ohio Federal Court Approves Robo-Signing Class Action Settlement. On August 12, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in Midland Funding, LLC v. Brent, No. 3:08-cv-01434, 2011 WL 3557020 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 12, 2011), approved a settlement of class action litigation regarding the use of affidavits where the affiant lacked personal knowledge of the facts set forth in the affidavit. The debt collection company had sued the defendant borrower concerning a debt that borrower owed. The borrower asserted a class action counterclaim alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The counterclaim alleged that form affidavits, such as the one initially filed against the borrower, were signed by employees who lacked personal knowledge of the facts asserted. The court held that the practice of "robo-signing" affidavits during debt collection actions violated both the FDCPA and the Ohio Consumer Sales Protection Act. That decision induced further class action complaints in other states. Following unsuccessful mediation, the court granted class certification of individuals who had been sued using an affidavit that falsely claimed to be based on the affiant's personal knowledge, while rejecting class certification of individuals who had been sued in an effort to collect on a higher interest rate than the law allowed. Following completion of motions practice in the original defendant's action, the parties agreed to participate in a settlement conference with the court. This conference led to an agreement to settle the original action as well as other actions against the debt collection company...
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