Cleveland-based Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA (Weltman), has announced that the firm prevailed in the lawsuit brought against it by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection(BCFP). The firm said that Judge Donald C. Nugent, presiding over the case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, issued an Opinion, finding on Weltman’s behalf, and confirming that the BCFP’s lawsuit lacked merit. The Court emphasized its finding “that lawyers were meaningfully involved disproves the Plaintiff’s sole theory of liability, and precludes recovery under the Complaint.”
“The Judge’s Opinion thoroughly vindicates Weltman’s processes and is a complete rejection of the BCFP’s unfounded allegations,” said Scott S. Weltman, Managing Partner at Weltman. “The Judge stressed that the BCFP 'offered no evidence to show that any consumer was harmed by Weltman’s practice of identifying itself as a law firm in its demand letters,' that 'Weltman’s demand letters were truthful on their face,' and that 'Weltman attorneys were meaningfully and substantially involved in the debt collection process both before and after the issuance of the demand letters.'"
The BCFP had sued Weltman in April 2017 following a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) process initiated by the Bureau in September 2014. Weltman engaged Jones Day to defend the lawsuit, which included a four-day trial in May 2018, and maintained that, as a law firm, it was legally allowed, under federal and state law, to provide collection and legal services, and that the firm was being truthful with consumers and factually accurate when it used its name and company letterhead for proper debt collection activity.
“We are grateful to Jim Wooley, Tracy Stratford, Ryan Doringo and the rest of our legal team at Jones Day for their hard work and tireless advocacy for our position. We are equally thankful for the outpouring of support from our colleagues in the collection and legal communities,” Weltman said.