News

KWA volunteers at NARCA 2017 Summer Litigation Boot Camp

by KWA KWA

On June 23, 2017, Michael Berkowitz, who is KWA’s managing collection attorney, volunteered his time at the NARCA 2017 Summer Litigation Boot Camp sponsored by the National Creditor’s Bar Association/NARCA to discuss the business records exception to Ohio’s Hearsay rule, specifically, Ohio Evidentiary Rule 803(6). Read more

Cleveland Marshall Alumni Association Community Outreach

by KWA KWA

On June 24, 2017, the Firm’s principal, Keith Weiner, volunteered along with other Cleveland Marshall graduates to provide legal advice and counsel to individuals and families living in the City of Cleveland.  The event was sponsored by the Social Outreach Committee of the Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.  Marshall Grads with experience in numerous legal areas, such as landlord-tenant or domestic relations, were on hand to provide advice and counsel and in some cases accept pro-bono referrals.  Keith Weiner was able to help a few folks with debtor/creditor issues.  The event was organized by Cleveland Magistrate Pablo Castro who serves as the Chair Person of the Social Outreach Committee.  All in all it was a great event.  The Cleveland residents who received counsel were very appreciative and the Cleveland Marshall graduates receive the reward of helping others.

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

by Sasha Lemon 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

by Scott Paris 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

by Scott Paris 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

2014 Guide to Collection Law Seminar

by KWA KWA

KWA’s own Scott Paris will be presenting at the National Business Institute’s 2014 Guide to Collection Law Seminar. Scott will be conducting two sessions: The Telephone Consumer Protection Act Compliance; and Collecting Through the Bankruptcy Process. This seminar will be held on May 5, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Independence, Ohio. Information on registration and/or purchase of written materials can be found at:

http://www.866seminars.com/Training-Seminar/2014-Guide-to-Collection-Law/619033/seminar_details.aspx?city=Independence&state=OH

Judicial conference increases amounts exempt from execution

by Crystal Duplay 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

by Dean Kanellis 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