Serving consumers in Greenwood
and neighboring communities.
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Collection Matters

If you are facing a threatened or filed law suit by an isolated creditor, and cannot pay the amount being demanded or feel you are not obligated to do so, talking to an attorney probably makes sense.  Too often, consumers assume there is little to be done in their situation.  However, opportunities to defend and settle or defeat collection suits do present themselves. 
 
This office is not engaged in the establishment and management of comprehensive "debt settlement" plans.  It is prepared to help consumers effectively deal with one or a limited number of creditors whose actions might start a slide to bankruptcy.  Even if judgment has been entered, consumers can sometimes be assisted in having the judgment set aside, and the creditor forced to make its case.  If this is not possible, consumers can be assisted in dealing effectively with efforts to collect the judgment. 
 
These cases are taken on an hourly fee basis.  Payment of a retainer to secure future payment of fees is required.  Contact the office for details.
 
Foreclosure Representation
 
The mortgage industry does a pretty poor job of documenting its transactions, especially as loans pass from the originating lender through an endless line of investors.  If you are facing foreclosure, this fact might benefit you greatly. Years of shoddy paperwork have left many mortgage investors holding mortgages they are ill-prepared to enforce, because it is often unclear whether they do in fact hold the mortgage or the note it secures.  Though this circumstance might prove a mere speed bump on the road to foreclosure, often a homeowner in foreclosure just needs more time to secure employment to support a proposed modification or workout, or perhaps just try to finish a school year before moving a family.  

More significantly, lenders, mortgage brokers, and their agents might have engaged in conduct at the inception of your loan that poisoned it and created consumer protection law claims.  Errors or omissions in loan origination documentation, patterns of expensive and unnecessary refinancing, or creative credit underwriting appraisals can create real opportunities to upset the foreclosure apple cart.  These circumstances can be leveraged to a homeowner's clear benefit. 

This office is prepared to evaluate foreclosure situations for defense and consumer protection claims, and consult with consumers on the potential benefits of pursuing those courses.  Assistance in negotiating and obtaining mortgage loan modifications is also offered.  
 
Both foreclosure defense and loan modification or workout services are offered on an hourly fee basis, with a retainer required to secure payment of future fees. Contact the office for details. 

Prior to retaining this office for assistance with a foreclosure, you should consult with the  Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network to determine whether you are entitled to free or limited cost foreclosure prevention assistance, and if so, to what extent.
TURN THE TABLES ON HARASSING DEBT COLLECTORS!
 
CONSUMER RIGHTS

This office assists with consumer law issues outside the context of foreclosure.  Specifically, this office will assist consumers with claims for violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and violation of orders for relief or discharge entered by the Bankruptcy Court.
 
FDCPA Violations
 
Contact this office if a debt collector acts or fails to act as required, in any of the following ways:
 
  • Attempts to collect a debt so old it might be unenforceable..
  • Misrepresents the amount of the debt, or includes in it fees not supported by any agreement or governing law.  This often occurs when a collection agent demands payment including accrual of interest at a purported contract rate, when in fact no written agreement exists, and only a lower statutory rate of interest might apply.
  • Reveals the existence of a debt to someone other than your attorney or spouse.
  • Calls a third-party repeatedly seeking your location information, particularly if after being requested to stop.
  • Persists in calling you at an inconvenient time and place (i.e. work) after you make it clear that the contact is unacceptable.
  • Threatens to sue on the debt, and then does not do so.  Ideally, this involves a written demand with a deadline.
  • Falsely claims or implies he or she is an attorney, or employed by a law firm.  This is often accomplished with the collection agency name and letterhead, but can also be found in the language chosen in demand letters.
  • Refuses to provide verification of the debt after you request it, and continues efforts to collect the debt.
  • Calls repeatedly in a short period of time, or uses profane or abusive language.

 

Though some of these violations present significant proof problems, others do not, particular when correspondence or a disinterested witness is available.  Violations of these laws can entitle you to money damages, and can also provide leverage for obtaining favorable resolution of the related claim of debt.

 
Bankruptcy Stay Violations
 
If a creditor persists in attempting to collect after your bankruptcy is filed, or worse still, after the debt has been discharged, it can be punished for contempt of court and made to pay damages, including attorney fees and costs incurred enforcing the court's order for relief or discharge.  Regardless of when and where you filed, if you are unrepresented, this office is prepared to assist you  in enforcing your rights acquired in bankruptcy.
 
Fee Structure
 
All consumer rights cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.  Your are not charged an attorney fee unless this office recovers attorney fees from the defendant creditor or collection agency.  Advances of client court costs and expenses are addressed on a case by case basis.