On September 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of GA entered a default judgment against EquityExperts.org for $147,702.35. On December 22, 2021, it was domesticated here in Michigan, meaning that its now ripe for collection. The Plaintiffs are Jeffrey and Pamela Cross. Docket number 1:17-cv-03804.
This is a sleazy company that works for homeowners organizations to terrorize residents of these communities with unconscionably high fees and costs. Their business model is that if you are late with a payment to your HOA, they immediately add over $700 in “fees” in the first few days. Their additional fees skyrocket from there.
We have sued EquityExperts several times because we believe that their business model is illegal and violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. We will continue to sue them on behalf of consumers that they pursue.
Why this judgment is perplexing to me.
EquitExperts.org has always defended actions in which we have sued them. We have even taken them to trial before. This is a pretty sizable judgment for them to just rollover. It does not make sense to me that they would not have defended such an action. I took a few moments and looked at the court docket.
Brief history of this case
- Mr. and Mrs. Cross sued EquityExperts in 2017, alleging that although it does not maintain a business office nor has it registered with the State of GA, it still pursued Mr. and Mrs. Cross for debt collection on an unfounded or questionable debt.
- While GA law allows the collection of costs and attorneys fees for a homeowners association, no GA court has ever approved the recovery of nonlegal or administrative expenses as a cost of collection. Still, this did not stop EquityExperts.org from piling on fees to Mr. and Mrs. Cross and filing a lien on their home to collect these bogus fees. By filing this bogus lien, EquityExperts.org slandered the Cross’ title to their property.
- org filed a collection lawsuit against the Crosses to collect this bogus debt. The Crosses hired an attorney to defend it. Still, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, EquityExperts.org actually called the Crosses to discuss the collection item with them. Under the FDCPA, when a consumer is represented by an attorney, a debt collector may not communicate with anyone other than the consumer’s attorney. EquityExperts should have known that.
- EquityExperts was served with the lawsuit on March 28, 2018 and failed to plead or otherwise defend against this case. They attempted to set aside the default judgment, but the court ultimately denied this request.
Future Proceedings against EquityExperts.org
EquityExperts.org defaulting on this judgment could signal a few things. One, that its giving up the fight and may be its deciding to close up shop. I doubt it. They seem to make money, hand over fist, by courting homeowners associations with their no out of pocket approach. You see, they have the HOAs add the EquityExperts’ fees to the consumer’s account. A debt that starts off in the hundreds quickly balloons to several thousands of dollars in a matter of months. EquityExperts collects and retains these thousands of dollars. Its mind blowing.
A second way to view this default is that it may have just been a colossal error on someone’s part that this lawsuit was not defended timely. That, to me, seems more likely. EquityExperts, as far as I know, has an in house attorney who is very capable. Seems to me if she had received this lawsuit, she would have had it handled by very competent outside counsel, too. This makes more sense to me.
Call us if you have been harassed or even contacted by EquityExperts.org.
If you have been harassed or abused (or even contacted) by EquityExperts.org, call us. We believe that what they do is wrong and we will do everything we can to stop them for you. Call us at Law Offices of Gary D. Nitzkin, P.C. at (216) 358-0591 or email us at Gary@crlam.com. We provide free, no obligation consultations. We are always happy to help.