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By Perry Cooper
Aug. 31 — Consumers may proceed as a class in their suit alleging a debt collector hired by Six Flags Entertainment Corp. attempted to impose a fee prohibited by federal law ( Bernal v. NRA Grp. LLC , 2016 BL 282751, N.D. Ill., No. 16-1904, 8/30/16 ).
Joseph Bernal alleged NRA Group LLC violated the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, by assessing a percentage-based collection fee. NRA added $43.28 in “costs” to the $267.31 Bernal allegedly owed to Six Flags.
The purported class, defined as consumers who were charged a percentage-based fee for debts from Six Flags, easily meets the requirements for class certification, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois held in a Aug. 30 opinion by Judge Gary Feinerman.
NRA presented no evidence that Six Flags used different agreements with different consumers, which could implicate concerns about whether Bernal’s claims are common and typical of other class members, the court said.
It also found no issues as to the threshold question of whether Bernal suffered enough harm to pursue his claims under Spokeo Inc. v. Robins even though Bernal’s injury may be intangible.
Receiving a debt collection letter with wrongly assessed fees is concrete and a personalized debt collection letter made the injury particularized, the court said.
Philipps & Philipps Ltd. represents the class.
Olson Law Group and Rock Fusco & Connelly LLC represent NRA.
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