Capital One Bank and Patenaude & Felix APC Sued For Wrongful Debt Collection, Harassment and Damages

  • November 15, 2012
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An elderly Santa Cruz County woman is suing Capital One Bank and Patenaude & Felix, APC for wrongful debt collection, harassment and damages. The woman, Mrs. Mary Basich, alleges that the San Diego, CA based Patenaude & Felix and Capital One Bank harassed and abused her when they tried to collect on a delinquent Capital One credit card that belonged to another person. Capital One Bank hired attorneys at Patenaude & Felix to collect the debt. The suit alleges that Patenaude & Felix accused her of being Mary Ryals, the real debtor and a life long San Joaquin County resident. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Basich, attorneys for Capital One Bank had obtained a money judgment against Ms. Ryals in August 2005 in San Joaquin County. Prior to obtaining the money judgment the attorneys for Capital One Bank had personally served Ms. Ryals at her San Joaquin County home in July 2005.

Nonetheless, in late 2005 attorneys and collection agents from Patenaude & Felix began to telephone and send collection letters to Mrs. Basich to collect on the debt. From the beginning, the 73 year old senior citizen allegedly told Patenaude & Felix that she was not that person, she never owned a Capital One credit card and to stop bothering her. Mrs. Basich has been a life long Santa Cruz County resident since immigrating from her native Croatia over fifty years ago and has never met Ms. Ryals.

The complaint alleges that Patenaude & Felix did not accept her explanation and persisted in its unlawful and unfair debt collection campaign. The debt collection harassment continued throughout 2010 despite Mrs. Basich’s protests. In 2009, attorneys for Capital One levied nearly $2,500.00 from Mrs. Basich’s bank account. However, the levy was later reversed when the social security number on the levy documents did not match Mrs. Basich.

In the fall of 2010, attorneys for Capital One again levied Mrs. Basich’s bank account, however, this time the levy listed Mrs. Basich correct social security number. Her bank told her that it had to honor the levy since it listed her social security number. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office attempted to help Mrs. Basich but Patenaude & Felix refused to reverse the levy. Later, the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office became involved and the levy was quickly reversed.

The lawsuit for unfair debt collection, harassment and abuse was filed in San Jose, CA. Case #CV11-04406, Mary Basich v. Patenaude & Felix, APC., and Capital One Bank, (USA) N.A., DOES 1-10, inclusive, U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of California. The Law Office of Balám O. Letona, Inc., represents Mrs. Basich. The lawsuit alleges that Patenaude & Felix, APC and Capital One Bank violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here Mary Basich v. Patenaude & Felix, APC, Capital One Bank (USA)(NA)

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