Debt Collection

Disabled Vet: Debt Collector Said ‘You Should Have Died’

By |October 17th, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

Michael Collier, a disabled Army veteran, and his wife, Kim, recently sued Gurstel Chargo, P.A., a Minnesota-based law firm and debt collector, in Arizona for violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) as well as for other claims based on the law firm’s attempt to collect a debt. The Colliers claim that the law firm is illegally holding their money and one of its legal assistant’s told Michael that he should have died among many other things. In their lawsuit, the Collier’s are claiming damages under the FDCPA, punitive damages along with other items. […]

2011 Consumer Complaint Survey Report Released

By |August 3rd, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), with assistance from the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI), has issued its 2011 Consumer Complaint Survey Report, which, among other things, lists the top 10, actually 12, consumer complaints from 2011. In addition, the Report identifies the fastest growing complaints, worst complaints, and newer types of consumer problems. Finally, it offers suggestions for new consumer protection laws and tips for consumers for dealing with many of these consumer problems. […]

Protect a Deceased Relative from Identity Theft

By |June 8th, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

Dealing with the death of a relative is hard enough. Family members do not need the additional stress of having to deal with having the identity of their deceased relative stolen. Remember, family members are not responsible for the debts of their deceased relatives, unless they had specifically agreed to be. In addition, the estate of the deceased is not responsible for these types of fraudulent debts. […]

Debts Owed By Deceased Relatives: Do Not Pay

By |May 31st, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

Collecting on debts of the deceased has become a very profitable area in the debt collections industry. Using tactics and practices created specifically to convince anguished family members to pay, some of these debt collectors will stop at nothing to get money even breaking the law. In almost all circumstances you are not personally liable for the debts of a deceased relative despite what you might be told by a debt collector. This post will not cover which debts may be owed by the deceased’s estate, which would be paid through the probate process. Rather, I will discuss your individual liability for the debts of a deceased spouse, parent, child or other relative and what you should do if contacted by a debt collector trying to collect a debt owed by them. […]

Protect Yourself Against Phantom Debt Collectors

By |March 19th, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

Lapin Law Offices urges consumers to protect themselves against phantom debt collectors. A phantom debt collector is a “debt collector” who attempts to collect on a debt that never existed or that you do not legally owe. They may also be known as “fake debt collectors” or “false debt collectors.. As we recently posted, the FTC filed a lawsuit against phantom debt collectors who allegedly collected over $5 million dollars from U.S. consumers. In that case, the alleged phantom debt collectors obtained information about people when they applied for online payday loans. The people who paid these phantom debt collectors did do based on threats of lawsuits, going to jail or the loss of their job. […]

FTC Targets Phantom Debt Collectors

By |March 15th, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) many consumers throughout the country have reported getting telephone calls from phantom debt collectors trying to collect on fake or false debts. The FTC has started targeting these phantom debt collectors and have filed suit against a group that has allegedly collected over $5 million dollars. […]

Proposed FDCPA Amendment Would Allow Messages By Collectors

By |March 6th, 2012|

Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) recently introduced H.R. 4101 (112th Congress, Second Session) entitled the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Clarification Act of 2012”, to the House Committee on Financial Services. The proposed Act would alter the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and permit debt collectors to leave voicemails and messages on answering machines, which is currently permitted only if the debt collectors provides certain information, which itself can cause a FDCPA violation. The proposed Act would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to set forth regulations regarding these messages. In addition, H.R. 4101 would limit the ability of a debt collector’s use of arbitration to settle a dispute. […]

CFPB Proposes Rule to Define “Larger Participants” It Will Monitor

By |February 21st, 2012|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

On February 16, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposed rule to identify the debt collectors and consumer reporting agencies will fall within its nonbank supervision program. Before it can began to monitor these entitieis, it has to define who is a “larger participant” within these areas. Currently, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies are not subject to direct federal supervision; the government only gets involved after a violation occurs. […]

A Victory for Consumers: H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Informational Caller Act of 2011) Killed By Co-Sponsors

By |December 15th, 2011|

By: Jeffrey Lapin

In a victory for consumers the co-sponsors of H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Information Caller Act of 2011) withdrew the bill from further consideration. The bill would have made significant changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the most significant of which would have permitted businesses, including debt collectors, to use automatic telephone dialing systems (auto-dialers; robodialers) to call a person’s cellular telephone regardless of whether the person had given “prior express consent” or even provided their cell phone number to these businesses. Opposition had been growing, both by the public and 48 state Attorneys General. […]

New Opposition To H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011)

By |December 14th, 2011|

New opposition has arisen against H.R. 3035, the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. Attorney Generals in 48 states signed a letter urging Congress to reject the bill. The proposed Act, among other things, would amend the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by changing the definition of “prior express consent” and permit debt collectors to use automatic telephone dialing systems (auto-dialers or robo-dialers) to call cellular phones. In previous posts, Proposed Act Would Permit Debt Collectors to Use Auto-Dialers to Call Cellular Telephones and An Update on H.R. 3035 (The Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011) and a Call to Action, H.R. 3035 was discussed, how it will likely effect consumers as well as its current legislative status. […]

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