A North Carolina judge approved a $475,000 settlement for tenants claiming they paid excess eviction fees, violating debt collection laws. Tenants of Glenwood Raleigh Apartments and Sterling Glenwood Apartments argued the property managers unlawfully assessed eviction fees.
The class action, initially filed in Wake County Superior Court on June 30th, 2017, alleged that the defendants violated the Residential Rental Agreements Act, N.C.G.S. § 42-46 by charging and collecting various fees in connection with filing eviction actions.
Attorneys Edward Maginnis and Karl S. Gwaltney of Maginnis Law, PLLC represented the plaintiff, Jordon Hargrove, alongside co-counsel from Whitfield Bryson, LLP.
The eviction-related fees in question included a complaint-filing fee, sheriff service fee, and an attorneys’ fee. The defendant strongly disagreed with the Plaintiff’s interpretation and contended throughout litigation that eviction fees were justified.
The Plaintiff also alleged that the charging of the eviction-related fees violated the North Carolina Debt Collection Act, N.C.G.S. § 75-50 et seq. The act prohibits debt collectors from making unlawful threats or misrepresenting amounts due.
Recognizing that the payment of hundreds of dollars of unexpected fees can result in tenants falling behind on their rent. Therefore, attorneys for the Plaintiff negotiated the release of $425,000 in payments and other amounts owed by tenants. This has resulted in tenants receiving more than $350.00 per violation of the North Carolina Debt Collection Act.
Similarly, evicted tenants from Glenwood Raleigh Apartments and Sterling Glenwood Apartments could request a “set-aside and dismissal”. A set-aside and dismissal allows class members to have evictions removed from their rental record. This is an important component of the settlement, because tenants with eviction records are often disadvantaged finding future housing.
We can help.
If you believe that you have been the victim of unlawful debt collection attempts by a debt collector or collection agency, we would like to speak with you. Contact us at (919) 526-0450 or send a confidential message through our contact page.