A New Barrier: the Least-Sophisticated Consumer & Language Barriers


Article by: Sasha Lemon


A majority of federal court circuits have adopted the least-sophisticated consumer standard in analyzing Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims. The least-sophisticated consumer standard is to ensure that the FDCPA protects gullible as well as shrewd consumers. Creditor Rights advocates have had to contend with this standard, which essentially lowers the burden for a consumer, for years. Although the standard provides deference to the consumer, it is still fairly objective; it merely asks whether the least sophisticated consumer would have been misled by the actions of the debt collector…. Read More >

Collecting Through the Bankruptcy Process


Article by: Scott Paris


In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act to amend the United States Bankruptcy Code (the “Act”). The changes made to the Act were designed to make it theoretically more difficult for people to file Chapter 7 Liquidation bankruptcy, forcing more filers into reorganization (repayment) through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While these changes had the intended effect in the short term, the 2007 financial crisis threw a wrench in the gears of Congress’s intent in amending the Act. According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the number of filings consistently increased from 2006 through 2011, and by 2010 had reached pre-2005 amendment levels. Since 2011, filings have steadily decreased. This decrease is good for both the economy and the collections industry, but as collection attorneys, knowledge of the Bankruptcy Act and Rules is necessary for a successful practice…. Read More >

Telephone Consumer Protection Act Compliance


Article by: Scott Paris


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) was passed in 1991, largely as a response to what Congress saw as an excess of unsolicited telemarketing and facsimile communications to residential, emergency and mobile telephone numbers. At its inception, the TCPA did not appear to be directed toward the regulation of debt collection phone calls where an existing commercial/consumer relationship existed. However, over the past 20 years the FCC and various Courts have applied the dictates of the TCPA to debt collectors, specifically those who call consumer debtor mobile phones. … Read More >

Judicial conference increases amounts exempt from execution


Article by: Crystal Duplay


Beginning in April 2010, and continuing every 3rd year, the judicial conference shall adjust amounts that are exempt from execution.[i]   This adjustment is based on the consumer price index for all urban consumers or other comparable lists.[ii]  The adjustments include, but are not limited to, exemptions for vehicles, jewelry, wages, and bank attachments.  In 2013, this amount for bank attachments was adjusted from $425.00 to $450.00.  … Read More >

House Bill Would Exempt Collection Attorneys Engaged in Litigation from the FDCPA


Article by: Dean Kanellis


A bill that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives would exempt debt collection attorneys from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) “when taking certain actions.” The Bill, which was introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), is described as a technical fix that does not erode the consumer protections afforded by the FDCPA…. Read More >

Our Fees

Our fees are competitive and conform to industry standards. In most instances, the following fee arrangements are available:


1. Collection matters are handled on a contingency fee basis, but an hourly option is available and sometimes requested by clients who hold large balance claims. At a clients’ request, fees for collection matters can be billed on a per item flat fee basis for letters, pleadings, motions, and executions.


2. Uncontested foreclosures and related bankruptcy and eviction matters are most often billed on a flat fee basis according to the Fannie Mae guidelines. Contested matters, and counterclaims, generally require additional flat fee or hourly billing, subject to client approval;


3. Uncontested replevin cases are also handled on a flat fee basis. If the right to recover possession is opposed, the matter is converted to an hourly fee basis, upon client approval;


4. Mechanic’s lien matters are treated the same as replevin cases, unless they involve multiple properties, or otherwise relate to unusual subject matter;


5. Our firm is also pioneering the availability and use of alternative fee arrangements (“AFA’s”) for legal services that have traditionally been billed hourly. The availability of AFA’s is a product of our firm’s ambition to deliver legal services in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and help clients more effectively forecast and contain costs. AFA’s are available for an ever expanding range of matters, including litigation defense, discovery disputes, and appellate practice.

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