CHICAGO (CN) - A man claims a loan company destroyed his marriage through "sexual-scandal blackmail," by leaving a phone message - which his wife heard - that another woman had been making his car payments. When he protested, he says, the lender's agent told him, "Now we know a pressure point to use on you."
Larnell Pillow sued Prestige Financial Corp. and its agent Michael Carlson in Cook County Court.
Prestige Financial, based in Salt Lake City, specializes in lending to customers with poor credit.
Pillow says that when he lost his job as an overhead crane operator, he fell behind on his car payments.
He says Prestige and Carlson "became aware of a relationship between plaintiff and a female associate and friend," who was "in the habit of periodically making payments on the vehicle".
Pillow adds: "Plaintiff had informed defendants that plaintiff's spouse, vehemently, does not approve of the relationship between plaintiff and Jane Doe. This fact was disclosed to the Carlson [sic] and others during the calls where Jane Doe was making payments on behalf of plaintiff."
But he says, "In the guise of collection efforts, and fully aware of its toxicity, Carlson left a message on plaintiff's home answering machine wherein Carlson identified Jane Doe by name and referenced conversations with her. Defendants had been advised of the necessity of privacy concerning Jane Doe's payments due to the assurance of a malignant reaction by plaintiff spouse."
Pillow claims, "The mention of Jane Doe at the primary residence of plaintiff had no reasonable relation to any collection efforts.
"As foretold to defendants by plaintiff, such message was in fact intercepted by plaintiff's spouse and immediately caused plaintiff's spouse to separate the marriage, whereby plaintiff's spouse immediately left the primary residence and removed plaintiff's children from plaintiff's home. She did so upon the pretext of divorce. Plaintiff immediately contacted defendants, whereupon Carlson replied, 'Now we know a pressure point to use on you,' after plaintiff had previously and affirmatively disclosed the inevitable and catastrophic effects of the specific information disclosed to plaintiff's spouse."
Pillow says the defendants were "utterly out of bounds in their right to search or otherwise locate collateral" - the car - which it knew it could find at his home.
He claims: "Defendants' conduct amounts to nothing less that sexual-scandal blackmail."
He says he does not dispute their right to the car, which he gave up before suing.
He seeks damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
He is represented by David Boyd.