Silva v. Coast to Coast Financial Solutions, Inc.
ORDER that Plaintiffs Motion for Statutory Damages, Attorneys Fees and Costs ECF No. 27 , is GRANTED. The following shall be awarded to Plaintiff: $1,000.00 in statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. §1692k(b)(1); $470.00 in costs; and $3,810.00 in attorneys fees. The total award to Plaintiff shall be $5,280.00, by Judge Wiley Y. Daniel on 3/30/2016.(evana, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-2584-WYD-KMT
COAST TO COAST FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, INC.,
THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Statutory Damages,
Attorney’s Fees and Costs (ECF No. 27), filed on November 20, 2015. On September
17, 2014, Plaintiff commenced this action to enforce the Federal Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”). After the Defendant filed an Answer
on October 15, 2014, Defendant’s counsel subsequently withdrew according to
Defendant’s instruction. Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya issued an order to show
cause on June 26, 2015, instructing Defendant to demonstrate why default judgment
should not be entered against it in this case. Defendant did not respond. Magistrate
Judge Tafoya then issued a recommendation of default judgment, which was affirmed
and adopted by this Court on October 21, 2015, with instructions to the Plaintiff to submit
an accounting of attorney’s fees, costs, and recoverable damages under 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692k(a). Plaintiff then submitted the current motion.
The FDCPA prescribes that a successful party is entitled to “the costs of the action,
together with a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the court.” 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692k(a)(3). I find that Plaintiff is entitled to recover her reasonable attorney’s fees and
costs because default judgment has been entered against Defendant and I have
determined that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a violation of the FDCPA. Plaintiff
requests attorney’s fees, using the lodestar approach, in the amount of $3,810.00, which
is $300 per hour for 12.7 hours expended by her counsel in this matter. 1 The rate of
$300 per hour has been found by other judges in this district to be reasonable. See
Sandoval v. Stellar Recovery, Inc., 2016 WL 74941 (Jan. 7, 2016) (Judge Kane noting
that Judge Martinez in July of 2013, and Judge Babcock in November of 2015, have both
determined that an increase from $250 per hour to $300 per hour is justified in FDCPA
cases). I agree that a rate of $300 per hour is reasonable here. Additionally, I find that
counsel’s time of 12.7 hours spent on this matter is reasonable. I have examined the
records submitted by counsel and I do not consider the time billed wasteful or inefficient.
Accordingly, attorney’s fees in this matter shall be awarded in the amount requested: 12.7
hours at $300.00 per hour, for a total of $3,810.00.
Plaintiff requests that her costs of $470.00 be added to the judgment. I find that
these costs are reasonable and should be awarded pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(a)(3).
As to damages, Plaintiff seeks statutory damages for violations of the FDCPA.
The amount of damages is awarded based on the frequency and persistence of
noncompliance by the debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and the extent to
1 Plaintiff noted in her Motion that her counsel would expect to spend an additional three hours, billing an
additional $900.00, if Defendant responded to this Motion and a reply was necessary. However,
Defendant did not respond to this Motion, so the additional three hours will not be added to the requested
which the noncompliance was intentional. 15 U.S.C. §1692k(b)(1). The maximum
amount of damages is $1,000.00. Id. “All that is required for an award of statutory
damages is proof that the statute was violated, although a court must then exercise its
discretion to determine how much to award, up to the $1,000.00 ceiling.” Villanueva v.
Account Discovery Sys., LLC, 2015 WL 148965, at *11 (D. Colo. Jan. 12, 2015).
Exercising my discretion, I find that the maximum amount of $1,000.00 in statutory
damages should be awarded under the FDCPA based on the allegations of the Complaint
and the entry of default judgment against the Defendant in this case.
Based on the foregoing, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Statutory Damages, Attorney’s Fees and
Costs (ECF No. 27), is GRANTED. The following shall be awarded to Plaintiff:
$1,000.00 in statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. §1692k(b)(1); $470.00 in costs; and
$3,810.00 in attorney’s fees. The total award to Plaintiff shall be $5,280.00.
Dated: March 30, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Wiley Y. Daniel
WILEY Y. DANIEL,
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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