Law Firm Sued For Allegedly Tricking Debtors in Carrasquillo v. Messerli & Kramer

Messerli & Kramer, a Minneapolis-based law firm, has been hit with a proposed class action in federal court by Marta Carrasquillo, a Wisconsin woman who alleges the firm, while acting as a debt collector, sent a deliberately misleading notice that gave the impression she had lost her case, including an allegedly forged signature from a judge or other court official. Carrasquillo alleged that Messerli & Kramer violated the FDCPA and Wisconsin Consumer Act by sending a financial disclosure form that closely resembles a standard form sent after a judgment has been entered against the debtor. Carrasquillo alleged that the form is in violation of both the FDCPA and the Wisconsin Consumer Act because it is both misleading and falsely represents that a judgment had been entered against Carrasquillo. The debt at issue dated back to May of 2018. At that time, Carrasquillo initially appeared in response to a claim in small claims court filed by Messerli over a Bank of America Credit Card debt she allegedly owed. About a month later, Carrasquillo claimed she received the form at issue. Carrasquillo alleged the firm intended to make consumers think they had lost their cases and now had to supply sensitive information, including Social Security numbers.

Messerli has been the subject of a lawsuit of several lawsuits in recent years; specifically, Messerli has been named in Minnesota federal court in over a dozen lawsuits related to debt collection and has also been accused of lying to a state court judge in a debt collection case, though the Eighth Circuit decided in 2012 that the statements were not lies. The complaint estimates that over 50 people in Wisconsin have been sent a financial disclosure form similar to the one Carrasquillo allegedly received.

At this point, these are merely allegations that have yet to be proved. The firm may still be successful in defense of these claims.

If you have questions regarding this case or FDCPA compliance in general, contact Joseph Messer for a free consultation.  Mr. Messer can be reached at (312) 334-3440 or jmesser@messerstrickler.com.