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Always think about emotional damages under the FDCPA when discussing your case

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a consumer may recover two types of damages; Actual damages and statutory damages of “up to $1,000.” In many of the cases that we handle, most consumers are only able to obtain statutory … Continue reading

How to immediately tell if you are being scammed by a fake debt collector

I have written about this before, but I do so again because of the sheer number of calls that I am receiving from panic stricken people. I frequently get calls from people who had just hung up with a debt … Continue reading

One tiny glitch by Experian has caused major credit score drops for many

Experian, a major credit reporting agency experienced a small, but substantial glitch in its reporting system recently, reported MSNBC.com. When reporting the credit history of HSBC credit card holders, Experian apparently reported just the first 2 digits of the credit … Continue reading

How to fight back against Payday Loan collectors.

Payday loan companies tempt the most necessitous borrowers with quick money. It appears to be quite easy to fill out an application on line and get your money in short order. Here is what you don’t but should know about … Continue reading

Consumer Lawyers, when filing your Fair Credit Reporting Act, don’t forget the details

Attorneys, when you file a complaint under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), be sure that you can make the following allegations in good faith: a. Your client posited its consumer dispute with the credit reporting agency (and not just … Continue reading

Child Identity Theft is on the rise

Its happening more and more. I am seeing some of it too in new clients. A high school kid applies for his or her first credit card and is declined because of too many prior delinquencies on his credit. The … Continue reading

What steps you must take if you have been a victim of identity theft

When your identity has been stolen, you should not expect much sympathy, let alone help, from the banks and other lenders. When you open your account with your bank, you are a valued customer. When you want to incur debt, … Continue reading

Oregon Attorney loses law license for violating consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

A Eugene, OR attorney recently surrendered his law license in connection with a settlement he entered into with the Oregon State Attorney General. Derric McGavic specialized in representing national debt collectors that buy defaulted consumer obligations in massive quantities on … Continue reading

How to Make the Credit Reporting Agencies correct your Credit Report

Your Problem: You have errors on your credit report. Most errors on credit reports are not good ones. Over 80% of credit reports contain errors and most of those are serious enough to depress one’s credit score. Your Solution: Send … Continue reading

West Asset Management spanked by the FTC for violating consumer rights

FTC issues $2.3 fine against debt collection agency for violating consumer rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Are you one such victim? Continue reading

Now that the FTC is off my case, I can talk

I have missed you guys. I have not been at liberty to post anything because last November, the FTC served me with a request for investigation. They took comments that I had made on NPR out of context and investigated … Continue reading

The Big three Credit Reporting Agencies are not the only ones talking about you. Have you ever heard of “Specialty Reports?”

More specifically, they are called Nationwide Specialty Consumer Reporting Agencies. These credit reporting agencies collect certain information about you that they sell to particular users. For example, did you know that these agencies collect information about you such as your: … Continue reading

The Illusion of Home Mortgage Modification

I just read an interesting article in the Michigan Lawyers Weekly of November 22, 2010 by Syvia Hsieh. Homeowners are now suing banks, in class actions, to force the banks into giving loan modifications. The suits allege that the banks … Continue reading

A couple challenges the mortgage….and wins

Michael and Rebekah Cefalu had taken out a mortgage on their home in 2000. Unfortunately, they lost that home to Hurricane Katrina. Worse yet, they had no flood insurance. They stopped making their mortgage payment. Citibank was the servicer on … Continue reading

Blindly trusting your bank is an avoidable handicap.

I just read Denise Richardson’s book, Give Me Back My Credit, this weekend. You probably never heard of Denise because she is not a professional author; rather she is a working person like the rest of us. She is a … Continue reading

Consumers deceived and bullied into paying debt

Erie lawyer Larry D’Ambrosio is accused of orchestrating false hearings hearings held in the mock courtroom to deceive and bully debtors into paying debts. He, along with a collection agency called Unicredit America, Inc. allegedly set up a fake court … Continue reading

Job Shopping? Your credit score may be an important factor in landing that job.

Your credit score is not just important when you want to buy things on credit. It may also be relevant when you apply for a job. Did you know that prospective employers may have a right to pull your credit … Continue reading

Collection agencies representing the movie houses ARE governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

In response to my last blog post about a certain collection agency that is pursuing individuals who “pirate” movies, I received the below email from one such victim of that collection agency. You see, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act … Continue reading

25 Most Common Violations of your rights by Debt Collectors

We have sued a fair number of debt collectors, debt collection agencies and debt buyers for violating our clients’ rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). While the list of debt collectors that we have sued continues to … Continue reading

Beware of wannabe lawyers that wanna give you bad advice

From time to time, I get emails from these yo-yo wanna be lawyers. They want to discuss the law with me. I am not adverse to having intelligent conversations with people. But this is a different breed of people that … Continue reading

Who is "MERS" and why are they foreclosing on my mortgage?

With mortgage foreclosures at a record high, more people are beginning to learn who MERS is. They see this acronym as the party foreclosing on their mortgage and yet, they have never signed anything with this entity. MERS stands for … Continue reading

If you dont know you owe it, DON’T PAY IT…

From the place called “Consumer Abuse by crooked debt collectors” comes a story about a guy who ran his collection agency from the comfort of his jail cell. Related posts: So just how Low did Accretive Health Collections go to … Continue reading

Fixing Your Credit After a Student Loan Default

As the economy slows down, more and more people are struggling to pay their student loan debt. Although defaulting on student loans should be avoided at all costs, sometimes default is inevitable. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Education provides a … Continue reading

Lenders Need Only One Credit Report, Says Fannie Mae

Mortgage lenders no longer have to pull a second credit report before closing on a loan, according to Fannie Mae. The practice of using two credit reports began in June 2010 with the start of Fannie Mae’s “loan quality initiative.” … Continue reading

Debt Doesn’t Have to Be Forever: Knowing the Statute of Limitations on Debts

Due to a shrinking economy and a lack of jobs, many families are finding that bills they once handled easily are now out of control. Some of these debts land on credit reports, affecting credit scores and pushing down credit … Continue reading

Federal Trade Commission Warns Credit Report Sites

Google “free credit report,” and you’re likely to turn up all kinds of web sites such as credit reporting agencies offering you a look at your credit report and/or credit score. What these agencies may not tell you, however, is … Continue reading

Be Aware: Debt Collectors May Be Fakes

As the economy slows and household budgets tighten, debt collectors are calling consumers more than ever. Unfortunately, not all these debt collection calls may be real. Fake debt collectors are out there as well – and they’re trying to get … Continue reading

Facebook users can have their identities stolen

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. It has been made far easier by our digital age. This morning, I saw an article about identity theft using Facebook. In that article, the author discussed … Continue reading

Jury sends Trans Union a direct message "Fix your system and provide better customer service."

Sixty Four year old Sandra Cortez walked into a car dealership to buy a new car. Imagine her humiliation when the dealership would not grant her a loan because she was listed as a known drug dealer by Trans Union. … Continue reading

Spokeo Faces Potential Class Action for FCRA Violations

Online data aggregator and broker Spokeo is facing a lawsuit in Virginia brought by a consumer who believes Spokeo is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The plaintiff is seeking to make the case a class-action lawsuit to include … Continue reading

To Get Paid, Some Debt Collection Agencies Hop On Facebook

With the economy struggling and many people finding it difficult to meet their bills, debt collection agencies are feeling the pressure to track down consumers. In a creative attempt to find consumers, some debt collectors have gone online, friending consumers … Continue reading

Financial Reforms Make Getting Your Credit Report Easier Than Ever

Many people visit websites like the government-sponsored http://www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free look at their own credit reports. Now, getting a copy of your credit report, including your credit score, is easier than ever. The U.S. Congress recently passed the … Continue reading

What constitutes debt collection harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

One of the other goals of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to promote fairness in debt collecting. To accomplish this goal, the FDCPA provides consumers with a means to dispute and obtain debt validation information for the purposes … Continue reading

How to stop collection agency harassment

If you’ve gotten yourself into a distressful financial situation where you are unable to make your bill payments on time, you are probably being bombarded by companies that are engaged in practices that would be defined as collection agency harassment. … Continue reading

The primary identity theft threats

What is identity theft? Identity theft has been defined as a form of fraudulent activity “in which someone pretends to be someone else” or assumes “that person’s identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits … Continue reading

Help yourself to improve your credit score

I commonly come across people with poor credit scores. I think about ways that they can improve their credit score themselves. With the state of the U.S. economy, a lot of individuals have experienced financial distress and damaged their credit … Continue reading

Getting sued for debt? Don’t sweat it; you’ve got rights.

So you’re getting sued for a credit card debt or some such consumer debt. The process server, a big ugly guy with an obnoxious grin that you want to beat into submission just served with you a summons and complaint. … Continue reading

So when is a Firm offer of Credit NOT so firm?

Potential credit grantors get to take a sneak peek at your credit report if they have certain criteria and are ready to make you a “firm offer of credit” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). So when you get … Continue reading

Beware of scam "debt collectors" working for Payday Loan companies

The ugly threats This week is the second time that I received a telephone call from someone who had obtained a Payday loan, defaulted and the was illegally threatened by an anonymous collection agency. This agency threatened the people with … Continue reading

States want to limit pre employment credit checks

Employers, with a prospective employee’s consent only, sometimes pull a credit report on the prospective employee. This is a federally permissible purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, given today’s economy, many people, especially the unemployed, have had credit … Continue reading

Attorney General Cuomo sues attorney for selling his name to a sleazy collection agency

The Buffalo Business First has reported that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that he has filed suit against attorney John Nicolia for allowing the debt collectors at Eastern Asset Management (“EAM”) to use his name and threaten legal action … Continue reading

Consumer complaints about debt collectors are rising

The debt collection industry has never been busier than it has in the past few years. Whether they are actually making money is a different story. However, CBS news reports that the number of consumers complaining about debt collector abuse … Continue reading

You may get dunned for a debt that you don’t owe, but might be forced to pay, anyway.

The New York Times reported on an interesting article about Nancy Taylor, a person with excellent credit who had recently been dunned for a debt that was not hers. Not only did she receive telephone calls and letters, all of … Continue reading

FTC fines Credit Reporting Agency for shirking its duties under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Central Credit, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Cash Access, Inc., is a specialty credit reporting service to the casino industry. According to the FTC, Central Credit failed to inform its casino customers of their duties under the Fair Credit … Continue reading

Even Law Firms are not immune to the promising results that they cannot deliver

Look, just because its a law firm or a group of lawyers, does not mean that they will not promise you something that it cannot deliver. Personally, I believe that promising results that are not realistic does a great disservice … Continue reading

Ohio Attorney General settles with Collection Agency, National Enterprise Systems

Collection agencies breaking the law is not as rare an incident as say, a blue moon. Indeed, it happens quite often. For instance, National Enterprise Systems recently settled with the Ohio Attorney General’s office. NES will end up paying $207,500 … Continue reading

Lifelock gets fined by the FTC for lying to the public

By now, everyone has heard the CEO of Lifelock announced his social security on radio and television as he taunts would be identity thieves. Lifelock GUARANTEED that if you signed up with them, that your identity would be impenetrable to … Continue reading

Drowning in credit card debt? Here is where to start…Greenpath Debt Solutions.

GreenPath Debt Solutions is a great place to start. This non-profit company is celebrating 50 years of helping consumers get out of debt. Just so you and I are clear, I have no stake in this company. Indeed, this company … Continue reading

Debt Collector sentenced to 15 years in jail on gun charges

I just read an article about a debt collector who was sentenced to 15 years on gun charges. He was running an illegal collection agency and threatened debtors with a gun. Tobias Boyland apparently was a convicted felon and just … Continue reading

Take Control of your credit report…NOW

For many people, one of their biggest assets is their credit score. Believe it or not, most credit reports contain inaccuracies. Many of these accuracies are serious enough to depress credit scores. These inaccuracies are due to: Mismerging – Person … Continue reading

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