Humes v. LVNV Funding LLC et al
ORDER adopting 5 Proposed Order granting Plaintiff's application for attorney fees and costs. Plaintiff's fee application is reasonable and should be granted in its entirety. Plaintiff is hereby awarded from Hosto attorney's fees in the amount of $72,411.70 and costs in the amount of $2,107.99. Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 1/28/2014. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
IN RE: SHAWN MICHAEL HUMES
and SHIRLEY JEAN HUMES,
SHAWN MICHAEL HUMES,
LVNV FUNDING, L.L.C. and
HOSTO, BUCHAN, PRATER &
(No. 3:10-bk-12140 E)
On January 28, 2011, Plaintiff Shawn Michael Humes filed an adversary
proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
against LVNV Funding, L.L.C. (LVNV), and Hosto, Buchan, Prater & Lawrence,
P.L.L.C. (Hosto) (collectively, Defendants), asserting violations of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C § 1692 et seq., the Arkansas Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 17-24-501 et seq., and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade
Practices Act, Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-101 et seq. Plaintiff also asserted claims for breach
of contract, fraud, and misrepresentation, and sought disallowance of LVNV’s proof of
claim and avoidance of any lien Defendants may have obtained. The Bankruptcy Court
held a trial in this complex action on January 11, 2013.
On July 17, 2013, the Bankruptcy Court issued a comprehensive 52-page
Memorandum Opinion as to Plaintiff’s core claims and proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law for this Court’s review with respect to Plaintiff’s non-core claims.
There were no objections to the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law and the Court, by order entered August 7, 2013 [doc.#2], made the
following factual findings and legal conclusions on Plaintiff’s non-core claims:
(i) Hosto violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692e or, alternatively, 15 U.S.C. § 1692f of
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and is liable for $10,000 in actual
damages, $1,000 in statutory damages, costs, and attorney‘s fees.
(ii) LVNV, through Hosto, its agent, breached a modified contract with
Plaintiff. Hosto committed the torts of fraud and misrepresentation.
However, Plaintiff is not entitled to additional damages based on these
(iii) Plaintiff‘s remaining non-core claims fail as a matter of law or are not
supported by the evidence.
The Court adopted in full the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law with respect to Plaintiff’s non-core claims and entered final Judgment
accordingly [doc.#3]. The Court gave Plaintiff’s counsel fourteen (14) days from the date
of entry of the Court’s final Judgment in which to submit an application to the
Bankruptcy Court itemizing Plaintiff’s costs and attorney‘s fees. The Court noted that the
Bankruptcy Court would then review the application and submit its review as a proposal
to this Court.
Now before the Court is the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed order granting
Plaintiff’s application for attorney fees and costs [doc.#5]. The Bankruptcy Court
proposes that $72,411.70 in attorney fees and $2,107.99 in costs be entered against Hosto
and added to the final Judgment entered by this Court on August 7, 2013. Defendants
have filed objections [doc.#4] to the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed order, and Plaintiff has
filed a response [doc.#6] to Defendants’ objections.
Having carefully made a de novo review of the relevant record, the Court adopts in
full the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed order granting Plaintiff’s application for attorney
fees and costs.1 The Court finds that (1) Plaintiff’s counsel charged a rate deemed
reasonable by this Court and other courts applying the lodestar method, (2) Plaintiff’s
counsel did not engage in duplicative work but divided the same between them, (3)
Plaintiff’s counsel kept detailed records of their time spent on the prosecution of this case,
and (4) therefore, the Plaintiff’s fee application is reasonable and should be granted in its
entirety. Accordingly, in addition to the amounts awarded in the Court’s final Judgment
entered August 7, 3013 [doc.#3], Plaintiff is hereby awarded from Hosto attorney’s fees
in the amount of $72,411.70 and costs in the amount of $2,107.99.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 28th day of January 2014.
/s/Susan Webber Wright
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
In addition to reviewing Defendants’ objections to the Bankruptcy Court’s proposed
order and Plaintiff’s response to Defendants’ objections, both of which have been filed in this
Court, the Court has reviewed the record in the Bankruptcy Court, including (but not limited to)
Plaintiff’s Amended Application for Approval of Cumulative Compensation for Attorney Fees
and Costs to be Paid by Defendants [Bnkr.doc.#76], Defendants’ Response in Opposition to Fee
Request of Counsel for Plaintiff [Bnkr.doc.#77], Plaintiff’s Reply to Defendants’ Response
[Bnkr.doc.#80], and the transcript of the trial [Bnkr.doc.#69].
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