PAYDAY TODAY, INC., Edward R. Hall, Appellants-Defendants, v. Maria L. HAMILTON, Appellee-Plaintiff.
STATEMENT OF CASE
Defendants/Counterclaimants-Appellants Payday Today, Inc. (вЂњPaydayвЂќ) and Edward R. Hall (вЂњHallвЂќ) (collectively, вЂњthe defendantsвЂќ) appeal from the test court’s grant of judgment in the pleadings and also the grant of summary judgment in support of Plaintiff-Appellee Maria L. Hamilton (вЂњHamiltonвЂќ). We affirm in part, reverse to some extent, and remand.
The defendants raise five dilemmas for the review, which we restate because:
We. Perhaps the test court erred in granting summary judgment on Hamilton’s claim beneath the Small Claims Act.
II. Perhaps the test court erred in giving summary judgment on Hamilton’s claim beneath the Fair business collection agencies tactics Act.
III. Whether or not the test court erred in giving judgment for Hamilton regarding the defendants’ counterclaims.
IV. Whether or not the defendants had been unfairly rejected leave to amend their counter-complaint.
V. Whether or not the test court erred in giving attorney costs to Hamilton.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Payday is a loan that is payday, and Hall is its lawyer. In July of 2004, Payday loaned $125.00 to Hamilton, a вЂњsmall loanвЂќ as defined by Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7-104(a). Underneath the regards to the mortgage contract, Hamilton would be to spend $143.75, such as the $125.00 principal plus an $18.75 solution cost, within a fortnight through the date of this loan. As safety for the loan, Hamilton offered Payday with a post-dated search for $143.75. Whenever Hamilton’s check ended up being returned to Payday, Hall mailed her a page demanding the total amount of the check, along with a $20.00 returned check cost and $300.00 in lawyer costs. The page claimed that payment among these quantities had been needed for Hamilton in order to prevent a lawsuit. Especially, the page reported in pertinent component:
Re: DISHONORED CHECK TO Payday Today, Inc./South Bend
Please be encouraged that this workplace happens to be retained to represent the above lender with respect to a tiny loan contract No вЂ¤, dated 06/03/2004. This loan provider accepted your check as protection for the loan in the number of ($143.75). The contract called for the check to be cashed pursuant to your regards to the mortgage contract, in the event that you hadn’t formerly made plans to fulfill the mortgage. You’ve got did not make re re re re payment into the loan provider as agreed, and upon presentation, the banking organization on which it absolutely was drawn failed to honor your check. You have got been formerly notified by the loan provider of the returned check and now have taken no action to solve the problem.
A LAWSUIT, now is the time for action IF YOU WANT TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER WITHOUT. To do this, you need to spend the next quantities, (1) the amount that is full of check plus, (2) a $20 returned check charge, and (3) lawyer costs of $300. This re re re re payment must certanly be by means of a cashier’s check or cash purchase payable to Attorney Edward R. Hall. We may file suit immediately, in which you may be liable for the following amount under I.C. В§ 24-4.7-5 if you fail to pay in full the amount due within ten days from the date of this letter et seq.; (1) the total amount of the check; (2) a twenty buck returned check cost; (3) court expenses; (4) reasonable lawyer costs; (5) other reasonable expenses of collection; (6) 3 x (3x) the amount of the verify that the facial skin quantity of the check had not been higher than $250.00, or (7) in the event that face level of the check had been $250.00 or maybe more, the check quantity plus five hundred bucks ($500.00), and interest that is pre-judgment the price of 18per cent per year.
(Appellants’ App. 1 at 13; Appellant’s App. 2 at 17). (Emphasis in initial). Hall’s page further recommends Hamilton if she was found to have presented her check in a fraudulent manner that she could be liable for various damages.
Hamilton filed a problem against Payday and Hall alleging violations associated with the Indiana Uniform customer Credit Code-Small Loans (Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7 et seq.) (вЂњSLAвЂќ) in addition to Fair that is federal Debt techniques Act (15 U.S.C. В§ 1692) (вЂњFDCPAвЂќ). In Count We associated with the issue, Hamilton alleged that Payday violated the SLA whenever
a. Hall threatened вЂ¤ to file case against Hamilton that could demand damages in overabundance what the defendants are allowed to recuperate under I.C. 24-4.5-7-202, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(b), and Payday caused this risk to be produced, thus breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(b).
b. Hall made misleading and misleading statements to Hamilton вЂ¤ concerning the quantity the defendants could recover for a little loan, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(c), and Payday caused these statements to be manufactured, thus violating I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(c).
c. Hall represented in their letter that Hamilton, as a debtor of a little loan, is likely for lawyer costs compensated by the loan provider associated https://installment-loans.org/payday-loans-fl/ with the assortment of the tiny loan, thus breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(d), and Payday caused these representations to be produced, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(d).
d. Hall made deceptive and fraudulent representations in their page regarding the quantity a loan provider is eligible to recover for a little loan, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(g), and Payday caused these representations to be manufactured, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(g).
(Appellant’s Appendix 2 at 100-01). Hamilton alleged in Count II that Hall violated the FDCPA. Id. at 101. She asked for declaratory judgment pursuant to Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7-409( 4)( ag ag e) that Payday had no right to gather, get, or retain any principal, interest, or any other costs through the loan. She additionally asked for statutory damages of $2000 and expenses and damages pursuant to Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7-409(4)(e). She further asked for statutory damages of $500 pursuant to Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7-409(4)(c) and Ind.Code В§ 24-5-0.5-4. Finally, she asked for statutory damages of $1000 pursuant to 15 U.S.C. В§ 1692k(a) and вЂњsuch other and relief that is further the court deems simply and equitable.вЂќ Id.
Payday and Hall reacted by filing a remedy and three counterclaims against Hamilton for (1) defrauding an institution that is financial Ind.Code В§ 35-43-5-8, (2) moving a poor check under Ind.Code В§ 26-2-7-6, and (3) breach of a agreement.