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TOLENTINO v. FRIEDMAN

September 21, 1993

ARSENIA TOLENTINO, Plaintiff,
v.
LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN, Defendant. NELWIN BREWER and JOHNNIE MAE JOHNSON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN, d/b/a LAW OFFICES, LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court are cross-motions for partial summary judgment. For the following reasons, the court grants the plaintiffs' motions and denies defendant's motion.

 FACTS

 Sometime in 1992, Citicorp National Services Inc. ("Citicorp") hired Friedman to recover an alleged deficiency on an automobile lease that Citicorp claimed plaintiff Arsenia Tolentino ("Tolentino") owed. Also in 1992, F.C.C. National Bank ("F.C.C.") hired the services of Friedman in order to recover monies allegedly owed by Nelwin Brewer ("Brewer"), and Discover Card Services, Inc. ("Discover Card") hired Friedman to recover monies from Johnnie Mae Johnson ("Johnson"). Friedman sent collection letters to these individuals which read:

 
Please be advised that I have been retained by the above named, to represent them in their claim against you.
 
Be further advised that I have been instructed to initiate all necessary action in the enforcement of this claim, but before doing so, I am giving you this opportunity to pay this indebtedness without the necessity of filing suit. *fn2"
 
If, however, I do not hear from you I may have no alternative but to commence legal action against you, which will greatly increase the amount due hereunder, by the addition of court costs and attorney fees, where applicable.
 
Unless you, the recipient of this notice, within thirty days after receipt dispute the validity of this debt or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid.
 
If you notify the office of the undersigned, in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion there is disputed, this office will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against you and a copy of such verification of judgment *fn3" will be mailed to you by the undersigned.
 
Upon your written request within the thirty day period, this office will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor if different from the current creditor.
 
This letter is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained may be used for that purpose.

 Tolentino refused to pay the purported debt, claiming it was illegal and unenforceable, and also filed suit against Citicorp alleging violations of various consumer protection laws. Brewer and ...


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