Re: Allocation of legal fee liability in lawsuit having Fair Debt Collection Act claims among others

Asked almost 2 years ago - Miami Beach, FL

I understand that in a FDCPA or FCCPA lawsuit a plaintiff will not have attorney fee liability if he/she loses (holding aside some exceptions to this rule).

But what if the lawsuit has other claims (e.g., fraud, breach of contract) that involve the same factual issues in the FDCPA/FCCPA claims? If a plaintiff loses, can a plaintiff still be responsible for some allocated opposing legal fees for the non FDCPA/FCCPA claims? How does this work?

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  1. Jeffrey Scott Hyslip

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    Answered . Its hard for me to think of a situation off hand where the Plaintiff would be responsible for the opposing counsel's legal fees unless they were entitled to it under statute, the causes of action were brought in bad faith, or there was a contract providing for the prevailing parties attorneys fees to be paid for by the losing party. Find an FDCPA attorney and give them more specifics to the causes of action that you want to include. They can then give you a better idea if its wise to include them in the underlying FDCPA case. It might be better to bring the two cases separately depending on the applicable facts.

  2. Scott M. Behren

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    Answered . This would depend upon the causes of action asserted against the parties, most causes of action do not provide for legal fees in Florida. That would depend upon whether there is a written contract between the parties that provides for recovery of attorneys fees. There are also some rules in Florida that can be followed to to recover attorneys fees such as serving a proposal for settlement. In short, you really would need to consult with an attorney with more details. Feel free to contact my office or check out our website www.behrenlaw.com.

  3. Christopher Douglas Smith

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    Answered . If the other claims involve fraud, then there is no fee shifting provision under Florida law, unless the other side can establish the action was brought in bad faith, or unless you have declined a settlement offer and ultimately recovered at trial an amount 25% less than the amount offered (or lost altogether). For a breach of contract claim, it is common for contracts to have fee clauses that make the losing party pay the prevailing party's fees, so check out your contract.

    For more information, please visit our blog and bankruptcy guide at http://www.chrissmith.com.

    If you agree with this answer, please mark it as helpful. If your matter is one in which you believe you need... more

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