United States Fourth Circuit

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Covert v. LVNV Funding, 14-1016

In this case, plaintiffs each separately filed a petition for individual bankruptcy under Chapter 13 in Maryland in 2008, and defendants held an unsecured claim against each plaintiff and filed proofs of those claims in each proceeding. Each Chapter 13 plan was approved, the defendants' claims were allowed, and each plaintiff made payments on those claims. In 2013, plaintiffs filed this putative class action alleging that defendants had violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and various Maryland laws by filing these proofs of claim without a Maryland debt collection license. Dismissal of all claims is affirmed, where: 1) because all of the plaintiffs' claims implicitly ask the district court to reconsider the provisions of the confirmed bankruptcy plans, they are based on the same cause of action as the plan confirmation orders, and as such, plaintiffs' claims are barred by res judicata; and 2) allowing these kinds of post-confirmation collateral attacks on a bankruptcy plan's terms would frustrate the bankruptcy process and destroy the finality that it is intended to provide.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/03/2015
  • Published 03/03/2015

Judges

  • Shedd

Court

  • United States Fourth Circuit

Counsel

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