debt collection help

New Debt Collection Help Resource Page

Since I started Caveat Emptor, I have written many articles on debt collection, but I have never gathered them all in one place. Now, I have. The Debt Collection Help resource page is the first of several resource pages I am working on that will pull together my best posts in one convenient place.

Caveat Emptor Lawyer Network, August 8th, 2011

Minnesota consumer lawyer Randall Ryder writes about a recent New York Times article in which debt collectors play the victim, and complain they are getting harassed by consumers. It turns out that at least one debt collector interviewed for the article is violating Minnesota law. Nevertheless, debt collectors think they should have a “bill of rights” they can enforce against the consumer they call up and harass about paying debts.

North Carolina bankruptcy lawyer Duncan Law writes that, while buying a home during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be difficult, it is possible if (1) you can find a lender who will give you a loan, (2) you can come up with a substantial down payment, and (3) the U.S. trustee approves your plan to buy a home.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/james__clayton/5531866236)

Iowa FDCPA Attorney James Moriarty Joins the Consumer Lawyer Directory

Jim Moriarty is a graduate of the same “boot camp” program for FDCPA lawyers that I attended. In fact, he and I attended the same session! Jim has been practicing law for close to 30 years, and he is “committed to and passionate about providing personal, quality legal representation to his clients.”

To contact Jim, visit his Iowa consumer attorney profile.

The Caveat Emptor Consumer & Bankruptcy Lawyer Directory

http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3517363882/

We are constantly working on making Caveat Emptor a better place for consumers to find information about their rights and options. Since talking to a lawyer as soon as possible is usually the most important part of resolving any consumer problem, we wanted to make it easier by at least one click. Now you can find consumer and bankruptcy lawyers right here on Caveat Emptor!

All of the consumer and bankruptcy lawyers in our directory are members of either the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) or the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). Additionally, we do a basic check to ensure no lawyers in the directory have been subject to public discipline.

When you contact a consumer or bankruptcy attorney listed on Caveat Emptor, you can expect:

  • A response to your inquiry within one business day;
  • A free phone call or e-mail exchange to find out it the attorney can help; and
  • If the attorney cannot help you, a referral to a lawyer who can.

If you are a consumer or bankruptcy attorney interested in joining our database, here are the details.

Friedman & Wexler Closing After Not Paying Bills?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartpilbrow/2942333106/

Friedman & Wexler, a widely known Chicago law firm that specializes in debt collection, has apparently shut down after failing to pay its own bills. According to the article, the law firm was fighting numerous suits that alleged the firm had withheld funds from former clients.

Keep Reading »

New York Judges Waking Up to Debt Collectors’ Shenanigans

Debt collectors treat the courts like a division of the collection agency, but New York judges are finally starting to object.

Privately, some judges say they are embarrassed that in many New York courts, debt-collection lawyers have grown so comfortable that they give the impression they are in charge of the proceedings and do not need prove their claims with strong evidence.

A victim of the collection agencies who was awarded $4,800 for the ethical violations of a New York collection law firm, Eltman, Eltman & Cooper, said:

They don’t care if you’re sick; they don’t care if you’re poor,” Ms. Bohnet said in an interview at her job in Woodmere. “Their only job is to collect money, and they’ll do it in any way possible.

The NYT story is riddled with great quotes. Here is one from Judge Straniere:

Like the Land of Oz, run by a Wizard who no one has ever seen, the Land of Credit Cards permits consumers to be bound by agreements they never sign, agreements they may never have received, subject to change without notice and the laws of a state other than those existing where they reside.

In New York, Some Judges Are Now Skeptical About Debt Collectors’ Claims | NYT (thanks, Martha!)

Debt Collection Help: Free Resources

Getting called or served with a lawsuit by a collector is a pain, at best. You can help yourself deal with debt collection with free information and tools online, but not everything you find will actually help. Here is a selection of resources that will:

  • If you are contacted or sued by a debt collector, use these form letters, pleadings, guides, and reference materials to learn how to record your phone calls and respond appropriately;
  • Debt collection cheatsheet: what collectors can and cannot do;
  • Help dealing with a case of debt collection and mistaken identity;
  • Follow these guidelines for negotiating with a debt collector; and
  • Avoid these mistakes when dealing with a debt collection lawsuit.

Finally, you can get debt collection help from a lawyer. Most consumer rights lawyers will give you a free case evaluation, and may be able to represent you on contingency, so that you pay nothing unless the collector pays you.