Learning Center | Credit Law Education | Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers

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

Emotional Damages…either take it seriously or get off the pot.

Emotional damages are available to consumers for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. But, its up to your lawyer and you to develop these damages. Some courts have held that the testimony … Continue reading

Debt buyer must show more than payments made on account to prove its case

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently overturned a District Court decision granting summary disposition to the Plaintiff in Unifund CCR v Riley. In this case, the Plaintiff sued the Defendant on an Account Stated theory rather than Breach of Contact. … Continue reading

Did a debt collector leave a voicemail message for you? Sue him!

We live in a very strange world with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act acting as a guardian over debt collectors who may step out of line. For instance, in one section of the FDCPA, a debt collector is prohibited … Continue reading

Has the Michigan Legislature mistakenly hurt consumers while attempting to protect them?

Payday Loan Companies (“PLCs”) have a place in the financial food chain in our society. While they are akin to bottom feeders due to the high interest rates that they extort from necessitous borrowers, the fact remains that they are … Continue reading

Alabama A.G. wrongfully shuts down attorney who restructured debts for consumers to banks’ chagrin

The Alabama Attorney General shut down Keith Nalms’ law practice known as Allegro Law. Mr. Nalms, according to the lawsuit filed by the Alabama AG: The State’s civil complaint alleges that Allegro promoted a risky practice known as debt settlement, … Continue reading

Need a Loan Modification? Get your docs together!

If you need a loan modification, you will have to prove that you qualify for one. There is an excellent article in today’s USA Today that talks about the requirements that many lenders are asking of borrowers in connection with … Continue reading

Collection agency posing as prosecuting attorney gets caught and pays $2.55 million

Some states have a bad check diversion program that is designed to facilitate the payment of bad checks to merchant victims. These programs usually involve a district attorney and sometimes even, a private collection agency. The idea behind these programs … Continue reading

Consumers beware – you may have skated past the creditor, but you may not be as lucky with the I.R.S.

Many people who get sued for debt usually compromise those claims in some fashion. In fact, many collection lawsuits that are filed are settled before trial. These settlements may include a reduction in principal. If someone gets sued by a … Continue reading

They collect more than just credit information about you

I just came across a great article written by Consumer Reports. It talked about information other than credit data that is gathered by other agencies about you. For example, insurance claims that you have made are collected by a company … Continue reading

When a "reasonable" reinvestigation is unreasonable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Being the conscientious person you are, you have decided to pull your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and you noticed that there is a trade line that does not belong to you. So what do you do? You go on line … Continue reading

Beware…that trade in can destroy your good credit

An article recently appeared in the Detroit Free Press about a couple who trade in their recreational vehicle with what they thought was a sound dealer. Indeed, Walt Michal’s RV has been around for a long time, dealing in RVs. … Continue reading

OMG….you just can’t make this stuff up

According to an article in the Associated Press, New York authorities shut down a collection agency for threatening consumers with jail if they did not pay. Did this agency ever hear of the FDCPA? Probably not since it was owned … Continue reading

Dealing With Debt Collectors, the Easy Way

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of court reporter schools at her blog Court Reporter Schools. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: [email protected] It’s never an easy situation when … Continue reading

Michigan’s new Mortgage Foreclosure Law can be a great help

Michigan’s new foreclosure law becomes effective on July 5, 2009. I think it will be a great help to home owners who are facing foreclosure. While there are other programs at the federal level, the items contained in the new … Continue reading

Do it yourself resources to save your home from foreclosure

I tip my hat to Ms. Michelle McLean, an associate with the law firm of Klyczynski, Girtz and Vogelzang in Grand Rapids. Ms. McLean is a lawyer who wrote a great article about resources available to consumers who face foreclosure, … Continue reading

New tales of outrageous debt collectors actions…soon to be classics

Social networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace have offered us new opportunities to reach out and communicate with one another. For the less scrupulous collection agencies, it has offered many other possibilities. Consider the the case of JP Morgan … Continue reading

FTC hits collection agency with largest penalty in history

For the past few years, I have been blogging on how collection agencies have been spiraling out of control. Late last year, the FTC assessed the largest penalty it ever has against a collection agency for harassing and intimidating debtors. … Continue reading

The downward spiral of credit affects even those with great credit

There was a great article in USA Today of Saturday, March 7, 2009. In that article, the reporter advises that banks are now closing lines of credit and credit card accounts that are inactive. Even people who have been making … Continue reading

If you are in foreclosure, you need an exit strategy.

I am working with a few clients that are suffering through a mortgage foreclosure. As soon as they received the sheriff’s notice, I sat with them to discuss their options. In both cases, we put together an exit strategy that … Continue reading

Zen and the art of skipping that next mortgage payment…

I debated long and hard about even writing this blog post, but lets face it. There is a white elephant in the middle of many peoples’ homes and lives. Many people are facing down a foreclosure and discover that they … Continue reading

OMG….The CRA’s are sooooo F’ed Up when it comes to ID theft!!!!

The Law- Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA“), credit reporting agencies such as Transunion, Experian and Equifax, all have a duty to conduct an investigation into a consumer’s dispute regarding the accuracy or completeness of an item appearing on … Continue reading

Emotional damages are easier to obtain under the FDPCA and FCRA than under state laws

In a great new case that was recently issued in a District Court the 6th Circuit in Ohio, Judge Carr wrote a great opinion reaffirming the fact that in order for Plaintiffs to obtain emotional damages under the Fair Debt … Continue reading

Why suing on purchased debt is rarely successful.

A recent speaker at the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education had talked about suing on purchased debt. He said that a debt buyer does not have to produce a witness from the originating creditor in order to prove his … Continue reading

Why purchasing debt is a bad bet at trial

A recent speaker at the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education had talked about suing on purchased debt. He said that a debt buyer does not have to produce a witness from the originating creditor in order to prove his … Continue reading

Ideas to defend against foreclosure

I am personally sickened by the number of foreclosures that we are experiencing in Michigan. While mortgage foreclosure is at epidemic levels throughout our state, I have decided to do something about it. I may only be one man and … Continue reading

When collectors exert too much pressure….

I was shocked and saddened to read about a story of an individual who received so many dunning notices and collection calls from a New Jersey Rent-a-Center, that he walked into the store and set himself on fire. As a … Continue reading

President Bush signs law clarifying FACTA

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”) was enacted in 2003 as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). According to Stuart King’s Risk Management Blog, he noted that just yesterday, President Bush signed HS 4008 which … Continue reading

Credit Repair Companies – Do they really have the goods to help?

There is a great article in today’s Wall Street Journal that talks about credit repair companies. While the industry is rife with charlatans, I have come across some credit repair companies that are quite legitimate. For example, I have recently … Continue reading

Your wages can get garnished for a student loan…without a judgment

I was very surprised to learn from opposing counsel today that my client’s wages for her allegedly delinquent student loan can be garnished…all without a judgment. Yep. Thats right. At first, I thought my opposing counsel was from Mars. After … Continue reading

Payday Loans are risky business for both borrower and lender

In the good ol’ days, when someone bounced a check on you in Michigan, you could sue for 3 times the amount of the check plus $250 in costs. See MCL 600.2952. While most of us in Michigan still enjoy … Continue reading

Zombie debt….it just won’t die…

I confess…I loooove Zombie movies. George Romero is one of my all time favorite directors. He produced Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Living Dead and other classic brain eating films. Its great to see it on the … Continue reading

Beware of this collector trick – credit card co signer vs. authorized user

If you owe money on a credit card that has been turned over to a collection agency, chances are excellent that the collection agency is not only pursuing you but any authorized user. Be careful about this and know the … Continue reading

Collection agencies…going from bad to worse

I usually don’t blog about current litigation for a number of reasons. Suffice it to say that this case that I am blogging about below is interesting enough to share with you. Moreover, I want you to know that collection … Continue reading

Beware of Julio and his book How to Legally Beat Debt Collectors.

Every so often an article relating to some self proclaimed expert in debt collection cross my desk. This morning it was Julio Martinez-Clark, who has written a book entitled How to Legally Beat Debt Collectors. He is putting out some … Continue reading

Be careful of bad blog advise about Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations

I follow a number of blogs. There is a great deal of good information on the web that keeps me current about the state of the law. Unfortunately, there are also a number of quacks that spew baseless information with … Continue reading

Got credit card debt???…..here is how to manage it YOUR WAY…

Here is a post that is going to win me absolutely no friends with the credit card industry or even my colleagues. But what the hell…here it goes. Are you delinquent with your credit card debt? Is the credit card … Continue reading


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