PAYDAY TODAY INC v. HAMILTON. Court of Appeals of Indiana

PAYDAY TODAY INC v. HAMILTON. Court of Appeals of Indiana

PAYDAY TODAY, INC., Edward R. Hall, Appellants-Defendants, v. Maria L. HAMILTON, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 71A03-0805-CV-255.


Defendants/Counterclaimants-Appellants Payday Today, Inc. (“Payday”) and Edward R. Hall (“Hall”) (collectively, “the defendants”) appeal from the test court’s grant of judgment in the pleadings in addition to grant of summary judgment in support of Plaintiff-Appellee Maria L. Hamilton (“Hamilton”). We affirm in part, reverse to some extent, and remand.

The defendants raise five dilemmas for the review, which we restate since:

We. Whether or not the test court erred in giving summary judgment on Hamilton’s claim underneath the Small Claims Act.

II. If the test court erred in giving summary judgment on Hamilton’s claim underneath the Fair business collection agencies procedures Act.

III. Whether or not the test court erred in giving judgment for Hamilton regarding the defendants’ counterclaims.

IV. If the defendants had been unfairly rejected leave to amend their counter-complaint.

V. If the test court erred in giving lawyer costs to Hamilton.


Payday is a payday financial institution, and Hall is its lawyer. A“small loan” as defined by Ind.Code В§ 24-4.5-7-104(a) in July of 2004, Payday loaned $125.00 to Hamilton. Beneath the regards to the mortgage contract, Hamilton would be to spend $143.75, such as the $125.00 principal as well as an $18.75 solution fee, within a fortnight through the date regarding the loan. As safety for the loan, Hamilton offered Payday by having a check that is post-dated $143.75. Whenever Hamilton’s check had been gone back to Payday, Hall mailed her a page demanding the quantity of the check, along with a $20.00 returned check cost and $300.00 in lawyer charges. The page claimed that payment of those quantities ended up being required for Hamilton in order to avoid a lawsuit. Especially, the page claimed 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 lender that is above respect to a little loan contract No ․, dated 06/03/2004. This loan provider accepted your check as protection for a financial loan into the number of ($143.75). The contract called for the check to be cashed pursuant towards the regards to the mortgage contract, in the event that you hadn’t formerly made plans to fulfill the mortgage. You have got neglected to make re re payment into the loan provider as agreed, and upon presentation, the banking organization upon which it absolutely was drawn would not honor your check. You’ve been formerly notified by the loan provider of one’s returned check while having taken no action to eliminate 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 complete number of the check plus, (2) a $20 returned check cost, and (3) lawyer costs of $300. This re re re re re payment needs to be in the shape of a cashier’s money or check purchase payable to Attorney Edward R. Hall. In the event that you are not able to spend in complete the quantity due within ten times through the date of the page, we possibly may register suit instantly, by which you can be responsible for the after amount under I.C. В§ 24-4.7-5 et seq.; (1) the total amount of the check; (2) a twenty buck returned check cost; (3) court expenses; (4) reasonable lawyer costs; (5) all the other reasonable expenses of collection; (6) 3 x (3x) the amount of the verify that the facial skin level of the check had not been higher than $250.00, or (7) in the event that face number of the check ended up being $250.00 or even more, the check quantity plus five hundred bucks ($500.00), and pre-judgment interest at 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 for the Indiana Uniform customer Credit Code-Small Loans (Ind.Code § 24-4.5-7 et seq.) (“SLA”) as well as the Fair that is federal Debt techniques Act (15 U.S.C. § 1692) (“FDCPA”). In Count We associated with problem, Hamilton alleged that Payday violated the SLA whenever

a. Hall threatened ․ to file case against Hamilton that will demand damages in overabundance what the defendants are allowed to recoup under I.C. 24-4.5-7-202, thus breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(b), and Payday caused this hazard to be produced, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(b).

b. Hall made misleading and misleading statements to Hamilton ․ concerning the quantity the defendants could recover for a tiny loan, therefore breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(c), and Payday caused these statements to be produced, thus breaking I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(c).

c. Hall represented in their letter that Hamilton, being a debtor of a little loan, is likely for lawyer charges compensated by the loan provider regarding the the number of the little loan, thus violating I.C. 24-4.5-7-410(d), and Payday caused these representations to be produced, thus 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 tiny 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 ag e) that Payday had no right to gather, get, or retain any principal, interest, or 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 “such other and further relief as the court deems simply and equitable.” Id.

Payday and Hall reacted by filing a remedy and three counterclaims against Hamilton for (1) defrauding a standard bank under Ind.Code В§ 35-43-5-8, (2) moving a negative check under Ind.Code В§ 26-2-7-6, and (3) breach of a agreement.

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