• January 10, 2011

Plaintiff Doug Fischbach signed on as co-signor for his daughter Jessica’s credit card when she lived in his home in West St. Paul.   She then picked up stakes and moved to Wisconsin, sending notice of change of address to the credit card company.  While there, she defaulted on her credit card debt.   Dad stayed in Minnesota, however.

The credit card company brought suit against Dad on the guaranty in Wisconsin, even though he never lived there.  This would appear to violate the FDCPA — Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  One form of abuse that the FDCPA was supposed to stop was debt collectors launching debt collection activities in far-off and inconvenient courts giving defendants little or no realistic ability to defend themselves against the debt collection efforts.

Thus, the statute requires suit be brought (a) where the contract was signed or (b) where “the consumer” resides “at the commencement of the action.”  

So, what does Capital One do when sued by Doug Fischbach in U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, for violation of the FDCPA?  They bring a third-party complaint against Jessica Fischbach for negligence and breach of contract for failing to specify in her change of address that her father was not moving to Wisconsin.

Plaintiff Doug Fischbach was unsuccessful in striking this surprising circular firing squad.

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