Class Action News

Ohio Law Firm Beats Class Status in Debt Collection Suit

Feb. 19, 2019, 8:07 PM

An Ohio law firm convinced a federal court Feb. 15 to strike class allegations from a suit over its debt collection practices.

It would an “obvious conflict of interest” to allow the same person to be class representative and class counsel, Judge Christopher A. Boyko wrote for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

“Plaintiff’s reluctance to seek new counsel weighs strongly in this Court’s mind that he does not have the best interests of the class in mind,” the court said.

JP Morgan Chase hired an Ohio law firm, Reimer, Arnovitz, Chernek & Jeffrey Co., to bring foreclosure proceedings against Larry R. Glazer.

Glazer alleged Chase and Reimer falsely represented Chase was the owner of the loan in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The claims against Chase were dismissed.

The original class counsel, Glazer’s wife, was disqualified because she is a witness in the case. Glazer has been unwilling or unable to find new counsel, the court said.

Reimer moved to strike the class allegations, arguing a pro se plaintiff can’t fairly represent a class. It also argued Glazer lacks experience litigating FDCPA claims and wants to be paid more from the litigation than other class members.

The court agreed. It acknowledged that addressing the issue on a motion for class certification would generally be more appropriate, but said class discovery isn’t likely to elicit further facts that would preserve the class claims.

Larry R. Glazer represented himself.

Gallagher Sharp represented Reimer.

The case is Glazer v. Reimer Law Co., 2019 BL 51700, N.D. Ohio, No. 1:09-cv-1262, 2/15/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; C. Reilly Larson at rlarson@bloomberglaw.com

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