On April 13, 2020, The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (“WI DFI”) released a guide titled “Emergency Guidance on Prohibited Debt Collection Practices,” along with a cautionary, interpretive letter issued from the WI DFI to a debt collector meant to serve as an example of impermissible practices. The perceived intent of the guide is to encourage debt collectors to act reasonably during the current pandemic, and also to warn of the debt collection practices that are prohibited by the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Read more
The CARES Act and Changes to the Bankruptcy Code
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act is aimed at providing relief to small businesses and consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act contains several provisions that are related to bankruptcy and will be discussed below. Read more
Debt Collection Law Firms Essential?
By: Keith D. Weiner, Owner/Attorney Keith D. Weiner and Associates
Yes we are. I am sure some may like to debate the point and I would welcome that opportunity. Other than needing food, water and shelter, nothing is truly essential. So, for those who have doubts that we are essential keep an open mind and read on to find out why. Read more
15th Annual Rock the Foundation Event – Saturday, February 8, 2020
KWA is proud to be a sponsor of the 15th Annual Rock the Foundation event benefiting the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation’s (CMBF). This year the CMBF will be honoring Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. with the Richard W. Pogue Award for Excellence in Community Leadership & Engagement. Read more
Statements Made About Unsettled Issue of State Law Not Actionable Under the FDCPA
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court’s decision and issued a significant opinion in Van Hoven v. Buckles & Buckles, P.L.C., __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 239290 (6th Cir. Jan. 16, 2020). In Van Hoven, the court held that due to the unsettled interpretation of the law it was not improper to add court cost to the balance of a wage garnishment filed with the court and that the inclusion of previous court costs associated with previous garnishments, although not permissible, may be subject to the bonafide error defense which must be further reviewed by the lower court. To quote the Court, “Just as a lawyer does not ‘misrepresent’ the facts by making a factual contention later proved wrong, a lawyer does not ‘misrepresent’ the law by advancing a reasonable legal position later proved wrong.” Id., at p. 9. The Court went on to say “Legal contentions must be objectively baseless, not just later proved wrong, to be actionable under the [FDCPA].” Id. The Van Hoven holding is consistent with precedent from other Circuits and encourages creditors’ counsel to advance reasonable interpretations of unsettled law. The National Creditors Bar Association (which KWA is a proud member of) filed an amicus brief in support of reversal and has published a more in-depth article. To review their article, please visit: NCBA Member Bulletin, “Court Rules in Favor of NCBA Member Firm.”
KWA Honored With National Award
We are grateful and excited to share that Keith D. Weiner & Associates, Co. L.P.A. has been awarded the 2019 Community Service Award by the National Creditors Bar Association (NCBA) for its commitment to giving back to the communities in which its offices are located. KWA Charity Committee members work tirelessly throughout each year to plan and execute charity events. Likewise, firm employees continuously demonstrate their dedication to improving their communities with more than 85 per cent of employees participating in firm-sponsored charity efforts. Read more
Disabled Veterans Get Automatic Discharge of Federal Student Loans
After more than a year of urging by Democrats and Attorneys General from over 51 states and territories (including Ohio Attorney General David Yost), and more than a month after the introduction of a bi-partisan bill called the Federally Requiring Earned Education-Debt Discharges for Veterans Act, 100% disabled veterans will have their federal student loans fully discharged. Due to the combined efforts, on August 21, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Memorandum directing the Secretaries of Education and Veteran Affairs to create a more streamlined process for Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans to obtain forgiveness of their student loans. Read more
Join KWA at the Fall NCBA Conference
Keith Weiner will be on a panel at the Fall NCBA conference discussing the challenges of handling growing auto deficiency portfolios. Discussion will include onboarding through liquidation on the 3 states the Firm serves (OH, KY, WI). Other panelists, Brian Winn and Dan Consuegra will cover California and Florida respectively. Tom Balcerzak from AACA will be the moderator.
Stacie Hackel Snow and Michael Lewis will be also be presenting at the Fall NCBA conference. Their presentation, “ABC’s of Student Loan Collections” will be a comprehensive overview of valuable information on best collection practices along with key compliance considerations.
If you are attending NCBA, please join them. If not, what are you waiting for?! Sign up now!
KWA Seeks Nomination for NCBA Community Service Award
Since 1985, Keith D. Weiner & Associates Co. LPA (KWA) has operated on the premise that the people at KWA make the difference when it comes to providing its clients with quality service, and inspiring client trust and confidence. Likewise, KWA also believes its people can make a difference through their charitable works in the communities where the firm’s offices are located. Read more
Heir Who Pays Utilities for Home Inherited from Father Is Not a Consumer Under the FDCPA
A basic premise of debt collection law is that a creditor cannot collect a debt from someone whom does not owe that debt. However, what if one were to flip that premise? What if a person whom didn’t owe a debt filed suit under the FDCPA against a law firm which previously filed an “in rem” foreclosure action and named that person as a party in the foreclosure action? Read more
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