This week attorneys Ed Maginnis and Karl Gwaltney alongside co-counsel from Whitfield Bryson finalized a $5 million settlement related to eviction fees. The class action against Camden Property Trust alleged the company collected illegal eviction fees from hundreds of tenants.
In 2016, Camden filed to evict our client and, in connection with that filing, charged eviction fees totaling nearly $200. At the time of his eviction, the Residential Rental Agreements Act (RRAA) prevented landlords from charging and collecting eviction fees. Our attorneys also argued Camden’s actions violated the North Carolina Debt Collection Act (NCDCA) and the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (NCUDTPA).
Unfortunately, the North Carolina General Assembly amended the RRAA in 2018, legalizing those fees. Our attorneys argued the amendment could not apply retroactively, meaning Camden was at fault for charging tenants for their own evictions before 2018.
After more than three years of litigation, including winning in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Camden will pay:
- $320 to tenants who were charged the unlawful fees
- $50 for each unlawful debt collection attempt to more than 700 class members
- $3.1 Million to clear tenant debts
Additionally, Camden will clear evictions off of the rental records of tenants. Inaccurate rental records, especially those reflecting evictions, can prevent renters from finding future housing.
In 2021, Maginnis Howard attorneys secured a federal court approval of a $4.75 million case against another apartment complex violating the RRAA. In that case, Bell Partners Inc. sent collection letters to tenants and charged illegal fees. Eviction fee members of the class were eligible for approximately $416.
If you believe you’ve paid illegal eviction fees prior to 2018, contact our attorneys for a free consultation. We offer free consultations for consumer rights cases. Reach us by phone at (919) 526-0450 or through our contact page.