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Elderly Woman Sues Capital One & Law Firm for Unfair Debt Collection, Harassment and Abuse

San Jose, California – In November of 2012, 73-year-old Santa Cruz resident M. B. filed a lawsuit against Capital One Bank and Patenaude & Felix, APC for harassment, wrongful debt collection, and damages.

The plaintiff contends that the San Diego, California law firm and Capital One Bank both harassed and abused her while they continued to try and collect a debt that didn't belong to her, but to someone whom she had never met. Capital One ultimately hired attorneys at Patenaude & Felix to collect the debt from the plaintiff M.B.; however, the lawsuit alleges that the attorneys at Patenaude & Felix accused her of being another person M. R., who was supposedly a lifelong resident of San Joaquin County, California.

The 73-year-old plaintiff was unaware of the fact that the attorneys for Capital One Bank had obtained a money judgment against M.R. (the real debtor) back in August of 2005 in San Joaquin County. However, before Capital One obtained the money judgment, Capital One's attorneys had personally served M.R. at her residence in San Joaquin County in July of 2005.

Despite the fact that the authentic debtor had been served in person in July of 2005, the attorneys and collection agents from Patenaude & Felix began contacting the plaintiff by phone and mailing collection letters to her home to collect on the debt that belonged to M.R. (the real debtor). From the onset, the 73-year-old plaintiff made it clear that "she" was not that person, and that she never owned a Capital One credit card and to cease bothering her. M.B. had been a resident of Santa Cruz County, California since she emigrated from Croatia when she was in her twenties, and she had never met "M.R."

According to the lawsuit, Patenaude & Felix did not believe that she wasn't the debtor and they persisted in its unlawful and unfair debt collection campaign against M.B. The harassment continued to snowball all throughout 2010, despite the plaintiff's claims that she was not the person they were trying to collect from. In 2009, Capital One's attorneys were successful in levying nearly $2,500 from the elderly woman's bank account, but fortunately the levy was reversed when it was shown that the social security number on the levy didn't match the plaintiff's.

The nightmare didn't end there, by the fall of 2010, Capital One's attorneys levied the plaintiff's bank account again; however, this time they managed to ensure that the levy matched the correct social security number that belonged to M.B., the plaintiff. Even the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office tried to help the plaintiff but the attorneys at Patenaude & Felix refused to reverse the levy. Eventually the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office jumped on board and the levy was reversed quickly.

The lawsuit filed by M.B. against Capital One Bank and Patenaude & Felix alleged unfair debt collection, harassment, and abuse. The lawsuit was filed in San Jose, California at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Ronald Wilcox, Attorney at Law is a collection harassment attorney in San Jose, California. As a result of the recession, many people are having difficulty paying their bills and meeting their obligations. Unfortunately, there are a percentage of creditors and debt collectors who are using unscrupulous and illegal methods to collect debts from unwitting debtors.

If you are a victim of creditor harassment or abuse, please contact attorney Ronald Wilcox, who has over 15 years of experience helping consumers who are a victim of all types of collection harassment.