Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Panico v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

January 2, 2018

ANDREW PANICO, Appellant
v.
PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES, LLC

          Argued March 30, 2017

         On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil Action No. 3-15-cv-01566) District Judge: Honorable Brian R. Martinotti

          PHILIP D. STERN, ESQ. [ARGUED] ANDREW T. THOMASSON, ESQ. Stern Thomasson Counsel for Appellant Andrew Panico

          DAVID N. ANTHONY, ESQ. [ARGUED] STEPHEN C. PIEPGRASS, ESQ., Troutman Sanders AMANDA L. GENOVESE, ESQ., Troutman Sanders CINDY D. HANSON, ESQ., Troutman Sanders Counsel for Appellees Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC

          Before VANASKIE, KRAUSE, and RESTREPO, Circuit Judges

          OPINION

          RESTREPO, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         In this putative class action, Plaintiff-Appellant Andrew Panico, who resides outside of the state of Delaware but signed a contract with a choice-of-law provision specifying application of Delaware state law, asserts that Defendant-Appellee Portfolio Recovery Associates ("PRA") violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("NJCFA") by suing to collect debts after the applicable Delaware statute of limitations had run. The District Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment, after finding that a Delaware tolling statute served to prevent the Delaware statute of limitations from running as to a party residing outside the state of Delaware through the pendency of the credit relationship, default, collections attempts, and ensuing litigation. For the reasons that follow, we will reverse the District Court's grant of summary judgment and remand the case for further consideration.

         I[1]

         Panico is a resident of the state of New Jersey, who, by early 2010, allegedly incurred substantial debt on a credit card account with MBNA America Bank ("MBNA"). As it arose from spending for personal or household purposes, Panico's obligation qualifies as "debt" under 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(5) of the FDCPA. On June 18, 2010, MBNA regarded Panico as delinquent on his then-outstanding balance. MBNA assigned the rights to the debt to Appellee PRA, a debt collector. Although PRA engaged in attempts to collect the debt, it did not succeed.

         On October 20, 2014-more than three but fewer than six years after the cause of action for debt collection accrued- PRA sued Panico in New Jersey Superior Court to recover the balance. New Jersey's relevant statute of limitations barred collection of such debts after six years; Delaware's statute of limitations, by contrast, proscribed collection of such debts after only three years. The credit agreement governing the relationship between Panico and MBNA provided for application of "the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to its conflict of laws principles, and by any applicable federal laws." App. 54. Panico moved for summary judgment, on the ground that the collections action was time-barred. Rather than litigate the issue of whether Delaware's tolling statute applied to stop the state's three year statute of limitations from running as to defendants residing outside the state, PRA agreed to a stipulated dismissal.

         In March 2015, Panico filed this putative class action in the District Court for the District of New Jersey. The class action alleged violations of the FDCPA and the NJCFA, on the grounds that PRA had sought to collect on a time-barred debt. PRA moved for summary judgment on the basis that the debt it had sought to collect was not time-barred. That motion presented squarely the issue of whether the Delaware tolling statute would apply to abrogate the statute of limitations that would otherwise have barred the collection of the underlying debt. The parties agreed to address that issue before addressing class certification, and ultimately, the District Court granted PRA's motion for summary judgment on September 14, 2016. Panico timely appealed.

         II

         The District Court had jurisdiction under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d)-the relevant section of the FDCPA-and 28 U.S.C. § 1331. We have jurisdiction over an appeal from a final decision of a District Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Our review of a District Court's grant of summary judgment is plenary. NAACP v. City of Philadelphia, 834 F.3d 435, 440 (3d Cir. 2016). Summary judgment is appropriate when "the movant shows that there is no ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.