After extensive briefing and oral argument, on October 3, 2019, United States District Court Judge Dowell for the Northern District of Oklahoma granted certification of a class of 17,756 Oklahoma residents against a debt collector, Equinox Collection Services, Inc. (“Equinox”). In the lawsuit, the named plaintiff alleged that Equinox failed to provide consumers with the proper disclosures of the rights of consumers to obtain information about debts being collected in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The FDCPA was enacted to protect consumers from and to eliminate “abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors.” 15 U.S.C. §1692(e). The FDCPA also protects law abiding debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices from being competitively disadvantaged. The FDCPA was enacted by Congress after finding “abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors.” 15 U.S.C. §1692(a).
The Murphy Law Firm has been appointed class counsel in more than 200 lawsuits throughout the United States. In the Equinox case, Judge Dowdell remarked in his order: “Mr. Murphy’s background in consumer advocacy and his experience litigating class actions… give very indication that he will vigorously prosecute this action.” It is hoped that the Equinox class action will provide harmed Oklahomans with a way to stop the unlawful practices alleged in the Complaint.