Sunday, December 1, 2013

In re Fleet v. United States Consumer Council case brief

In re Fleet v. United States Consumer Council case brief summary
95 B.R. 319 (1999)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff associates filed a class action lawsuit against defendants, corporation and employees, for allegedly committing unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation ofN.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8-1, et seq.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff associates were associated with defendant corporation, providing bankruptcy services to consumers. Defendants maintained the corporation attempted to negotiate payment plans with its clients' creditors, and, if all else failed, referred clients to an attorney to file a bankruptcy. Plaintiffs maintained that defendants were operating a grossly over-priced lawyer referral service soliciting and referring financially distressed consumers to designated attorneys to file chapter 13 bankruptcies and that no other services or alternatives were presented to consumers contacting defendant corporation. Plaintiff alleged in a class action lawsuit that defendants', corporation and employees, committed unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8-1, et seq.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that defendant corporation did misrepresent the nature of its organization and the services that it provided and that its fees were unconscionable in light of the services that were in fact provided by it. 
  • Defendants were enjoined from engaging in such deceptive practices and ordered to pay reimbursements, and awarded treble damages and attorney's fees.

CONCLUSION
The court granted plaintiff associates judgment in class action lawsuit against defendants, corporation and employees, for allegedly committing unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation of consumer protection laws. Defendant corporation did misrepresent the nature of its organization and the services that it provided and that its fees were unconscionable in light of the services that were in fact provided by it.


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