Bartels v. Citicards, Decided on October 11, 2005
A chapter 7 case in which Citicards repeatedly called and harassed the client after filing a Chapter 7 (and the client advising Citicards of the bankruptcy filing). The Chapter 7 Trustee even wrote to Citicards to persuade them to stop contacting Bartels, but to no avail. Important to the decision was the fact that Citicards continued to send Bartels billing statements even up to the date of the trial. The Court has awarded Bartels $10,000 for actual, compensatory damages (emotional distress), $75,000 in punitive damages, and $3,000 in counsel fees.
Gregoricus v. Citibank, Decided in October, 2005
A Chapter 13 case in which a collector for Citibank, Ltd. Financial, made numerous harassing telephone calls, faxes, and letters by first class mail trying to collect the Citibank debt. The collection efforts occurred about 1 year after the Chapter 13 case was filed. The client advised the collector that she had filed a bankruptcy case, but the collector engaged in a pattern of repeated harassing contacts trying to collect the debt notwithstanding the automatic stay. The Court concluded that Citibank had intentionally and willfully violated the automatic stay, that the client had sustained $7,500 of actual compensatory damages (emotional distress), and was entitled to punitive damages in the sum of $50,000 (to deter Citibank from engaging in this conduct in the future), and $3,000 for my counsel fees.