Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Since 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have protected American consumers from unfair financial practices. But now the Financial CHOICE Act could, in President Trump’s words, be a “major haircut” to the organization and its ability to protect citizens.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance is designed to cover your medical expenses after a car crash. But it doesn’t cover everything. Find out what you can do when no-fault auto insurance is not enough.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Uber, the popular ride-sharing app, puts users worldwide in touch with everyday drivers looking to make some money. But the City of Portland and the U.S. Justice Department say the company’s “Greyball” software might have crossed a line, singling out regulators and taking them on a different kind of ride.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
No one wants to go to court to avoid paying creditors. Unfortunately, thousands of people every year face collections lawsuits. Find out what to expect, and what an attorney can do to help.
Demand Letters Are Lead-Ins to Court
If you receive a demand letter from a collections agency, sometimes also called a validation notice, it is the first sign that you may be headed to court. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), before a creditor can file a collections lawsuit against you it must first send you a notice that states:
The amount you owe
The name of the creditor
That you have 30 days to dispute the debt or the collector has the right to assume it is valid
That if you dispute the debt in writing within 30 days you are entitled to receive a verification of the debt and its amount
That you are entitled to the name and address of the original creditor upon request during that initial 30 days
If you receive this letter, you should contact a collections defense attorney right away. If you wait for the 30 days to go by you could be giving up valid legal defenses.
Inability to Pay Is Not a Defense
Many people choose to represent themselves in collections lawsuits based on their lack of available funds to pay their debts. There are many defenses to a collections lawsuit, but inability to pay is not one of them. If all you have to say is that you don’t have the money to pay, you will most likely end up with a judgment against you.
Instead of going in with nothing but your empty pockets, you should speak to an experienced debtor’s rights attorney before appearing in court. Many creditors violate laws and court rules in attempts to get paid. A lawyer can help you prove to the court:
That the debt is not yours
That the amount is wrong
That interest has been applied improperly
That you did not receive proper notice of the debt or the lawsuit
That the collections agency cannot prove the alleged debt exists
That the collections agency violated the law by harassing you for payment
Other legal defenses based on your specific facts
Many defenses must be raised within the first few weeks of a collections lawsuit. They must be included in a formal “Answer to Complaint” that is filed with the court. It is important that you talk to a collections defense attorney right away to preserve these defenses and make the best of a bad situation.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
The auto insurance company is refusing to pay your medical bills and collections companies are calling you directly. The last thing you want to do is pay more money to an attorney to get help. The good news is that in many cases, you aren’t the one that pays your personal injury lawyer after an auto accident.