Debt Collection Atty Uses Lender Arbitration Pact To Halt Suit

Law360 (October 8, 2019, 10:15 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge granted a Chicago attorney’s bid to force arbitration of class action claims accusing him of falsely threatening to tack unauthorized late fees onto defaulted consumer debt he was hired to collect, ruling Tuesday that the attorney can enforce the original lender’s arbitration agreement even though he wasn’t party to it.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said that attorney Gary A. Smiley “plainly was acting” as the agent of lender AAA Checkmate LLC when he sent the collection letter at the center of borrower-plaintiff Karice Goss’ case, and as such, Illinois law permits him to invoke the arbitration...

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