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Thursday, August 11, 2011
AT&T Aftermath: Debt Collector Escapes Public Trial of Violations of Federal Law
The Corporate Court's decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion set a dangerous precedent, and is forcing everyday Americans out of the courthouse. AFJ takes a look at some of the cases impacted by the decision.
Case: Bellows v. Midland Credit Mgmt. Inc.
Douglas Bellows alleged that Midland Credit Management, a debt collector, made harassing and abusive attempts to collect a debt in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Bellows filed suit on behalf of himself and others subjected to Midland’s tactics, but his HSBC credit card agreement contained an arbitration clause which also banned class actions. Bellows argued that his rights were protected by California’s Discover Bank rule. The judge waited until the Supreme Court issued its decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, and then ordered Bellows to pursue his claim in solitary arbitration.