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Recent class action lawsuits you may be eligible for

Via Class Actions Reporter TCPA Rules The Day Still Here is this week’s update on class actions and settlements. Clearly violations of the TCPA rule the day. Not sure what the TCPA is? You have to read one of the many lawsuits with TCPA in the title. Class Action Lawsuits Nextgen Leads TCPA Class…

via Recent Class Actions You May Be Eligible For — considertheconsumer

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Equifax waited several months before fixing their security issues

Welp, the saga continues. After about a week’s worth of news damaging the company name, it surfaced this morning that Equifax waited months before finally admitting to having to fix a widely known vulnerability in its security software which enabled hackers to compromise the personal information of as many as 143 million US consumers. “We know that criminals…

via BREAKING: Equifax Waited Months Before Fixing Their Security Issues — considertheconsumer

That is outrageous that Equifax waited several months before they fixed the vulnerability in their security software, and also waited several months before disclosing that they had been hacked.

What you should know about identity theft

Recently, we have reported on a few identity theft based stories after the massive Equifax Data Breach. When Equifax reported this massive data breach, you may have been concerned that you could become a victim of identity theft. On the other hand, you might be only vaguely aware of the threat and not sure what identity…

via What Should I Know About Identity Theft? Look No Further — considertheconsumer

New service will allow you to sue Equifax with one click

The entrepreneur behind DoNotPay, a free online chatbot that has successfully fought around 375,000 parking tickets in New York, Seattle, and the U.K., is launching a new service on Tuesday that will allow people to sue Equifax automatically, for $15,000, with one click. On September 7, Equifax revealed a massive cybersecurity breach that potentially exposed the Social Security numbers and…

via Sue Equifax Automatically, With One Click — considertheconsumer

This is a great idea.  Small claims court, particularly in California is very user friendly and attorneys are not allowed.

Citibank ordered to pay $770 million over credit card practices

Citibank has been ordered to pay $700 million in relief to borrowers for illegal credit card practices and will also have to pay $35 million each in civil penalties to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Justice League

(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc’s (>> Citigroup Inc) consumer bank has been ordered to pay $700 million in relief to borrowers for illegal credit card practices, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.

The bank will also pay civil penalties of $35 million each to the consumer finance watchdog and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The $770 million total payout is about 1 percent of Citi’s estimated revenue for 2015, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Read on.

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Common violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

Common violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) are the topic of this blog post. This post will focus on violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act found in Title 15 of the United States Code, section 1692, et seq. although many states, including California have their own version.

Debtors have certain rights and if they do not know what their rights are they cannot stand up for their rights. I believe in empowering people with legal information that gives them at least a basic knowledge of their rights so that they can deal with debt collectors with confidence and will not tolerate abusive behavior.  Debt collectors sometime take advantage of the fact that many people have no idea what their rights are.

The most important difference between the Federal version of the FDCPA and the California version is that the federal version ONLY applies to third-party debt collectors such as collection agencies and their employees and does NOT apply to an original creditor which basically means any company that is collecting their own debts. In contrast the California version of the FDCPA applies to anyone who regularly engages in debt collection in the ordinary course of business on behalf of himself or herself or others.

The prohibited acts that I have listed below are some of the most common violations of the FDCPA.

The Federal FDCPA states that third-party debt collectors CANNOT:

Contact a debtor before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless that debtor has asked them to;

Contact a debtor at work once the debtor informs that they do not want to be contacted at work;

Use threats of violence or harm against a debtor;

Publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts although they legally provide this information to credit bureaus;

Use obscene or profane language;

Repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone;

Falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;

Falsely claim that the debtor has committed a crime by not paying a debt;

Falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;

Misrepresent the amount that the debtor owes;

Indicate that any documents they send to the debtor are legal forms if they aren’t, or indicate that any documents they send to the debtor aren’t legal forms if they are.

Claim that the debtor can be arrested if they don’t pay the debt;

Threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell property or wages of the debtor unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so;

Threaten legal action in cases where doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the legal action;

Provide false credit information about a debtor to anyone, including a credit reporting company;

Send anything to a debtor that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t;

Use a false company name;

Try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount owed unless the contract that created the debt or state law where the debtor resides allows the charge;

Deposit a post-dated check early;

Take or threaten to take property of the debtor unless it can be done legally;

Contact a debtor by postcard, or

Contact a debtor after they have received a letter from the debtor stating that they do not wish to be contacted any further about the debt. The collector can still contact the debtor to confirm there will be no further contact or to advise the debtor of additional actions being taken against the debtor, such as a lawsuit.

I know from my own personal knowledge that some debt collection agencies do often violate the FDCPA as some years ago I briefly worked in the Southern California offices of a major nationwide debt collection agency and I personally witnessed with my own eyes and ears several of their employees cursing and swearing at debtor’s using very obscene and profane language, repeatedly calling debtor’s, threatening to seize personal property of the debtor such as “their precious household goods” as well as calling the debtor at work even though they had been requested not to.

In fact I recently “Googled” the name of that company and discovered that shortly after I resigned the company entered into a settlement and consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that they repeatedly violated the FDCPA. However I have also dealt with collection agencies that did not violate the FDCPA so I also realize that not all debt collectors are abusive. As with any other business there are always a few “bad apples.”

Attorneys or parties in California that would like to view a portion of a sample complaint for violations of both the California and Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act including brief instructions sold by the author can see below.

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal that has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by visiting http://www.legaldocspro.net

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt validation letter to collection agency

A debt validation letter to a collection agency is the topic of this blog post. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provision found in Title 15 United States Code section 1692g(b) allows consumers to send a written communication to any third-party debt collector such as a collection agency that validation of the debt is requested as the validity of the debt is disputed.

That particular provision also states that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within thirty days that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.

It is important to send any debt validation letter within thirty days of receiving any communication from a debt collector as in most cases this will prevent the debt collector from any further attempts to collect the debt until they have obtained verification of the debt. However if the debt validation letter is not sent within thirty days the debt collector may continue attempts to collect the debt while they obtain verification of the debt.

Title 15 United States Code section 1692g(c) states in pertinent part that even if the consumer does not dispute the validity of a debt within the thirty day period that failure to dispute the validity of any debt may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.

If you receive any communication from a debt collector you should first determine if the debt may be valid or not as the use of a debt validation letter may not be a good idea where the debt is clearly valid as sending the letter may prompt the debt collector to not only verify the debt but also take further collection actions. However if the name of the original creditor is listed and you do not recognize the name than the use of a debt validation letter should be seriously considered.

Attorneys or parties who would like to view or download a sample debt validation letter to a collection agency created by the author and available for FREE download in Word format can see below.

Attorneys or parties who would like to view portions of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation sold by the author of this blog post can use the link shown below.

http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro/documents

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

*Do you want to use this article on your website, blog or e-zine? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: “Stan Burman is the author of over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation and is the author of a free weekly legal newsletter. You can receive 10 free gifts just for subscribing. Just visit http://freeweeklylegalnewsletter.gr8.com/ for more information.

Follow the author on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LegalDocsPro

You can view sample legal document packages for sale by going to http://www.legaldocspro.com/downloads.aspx

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

 

 

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