No one likes being in debt – and nobody deserves to be harassed, abused or misled. State and federal laws prohibits abusive debt collection practices. Just because you may owe money does not mean you are not entitled to personal dignity or protections available under the law. If you have been victimized by a debt collector, the law provides for mandatory penalties to be awarded to you.
Donald Doherty handles abusive debt collection cases at no cost to you. THE CONSULTATION TO DISCUSS YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES IS FREE OF CHARGE AND IF I TAKE THE CASE, IT WILL BE AT NO COST TO YOU. We only handle cases on behalf of consumers. If I win, the debt collector must pay the legal fees and costs of your suit.
Sometimes, bankruptcy is not an option to pursue. Maybe you have too many assets. Maybe you have a settlement or an inheritance on the way. Maybe you just do not believe in it and feel if you could just get some breathing room, you can pay your way out. If a debt collector has engaged in abusive practices, we may be able to use a lawsuit against them to put the brakes on their collection efforts. This can give you time to get back on your feet. Better yet, the amount you are entitled to might even exceed the amount you owe.
Don’t trust your Fair Debt case to a bankruptcy attorney or a general practitioner. Donald Doherty has been the counsel of choice in cases that made the current law what it is (see the partial list below). We know how to maximize your recovery using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act together with other consumer protection statutes. Even if you are going to file bankruptcy, we work with your bankruptcy attorney to maximize the recovery so the payments to your creditors do not have to come out of your pocket.
Some debt collectors are simply dishonest people. They impose excessive interest rates, illegal charges and overreach to collect on a debt. We handle many cases using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and similar consumer protection statutes to put the brakes on unscrupulous debt collectors – whether those collecting the debt are collection agencies or collection attorneys. Let us stop the harassment.
Here are some of the matters that are currently ongoing and may affect your rights or interests:
Kieffer v. Pressler and Pressler, LLP, This case asserts that attorney debt collectors are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by levying on joint bank accounts. Both the debtor and non-debtor have claims. The non-debtor asserts he has done nothing wrong and should not have his money seized or subject to levy. The debtor asserts that the money in the account was not hers and seizing it has caused household financial hardship. IMPORTANT UPDATE: In May 2011, United States District Judge Chesler has rejected the Pressler & Pressler firm’s attempt to dismiss the case and ruled it may proceed. Kieffer Decision UPDATE: Magistrate Shipp has directed a discovery plan be submitted by Thursday, 7/7/11.
Krrywda v. Pressler and Pressler, LLP, This case asserts that the attorney debt collectors sent out the county Sheriff to conduct an illegal inventory. New Jersey law does not provide for such searches by the Sheriff and the Pressler & Pressler firm is using the Sheriff to intimidate people into paying debts. UPDATE: United States Magistrate Judge Shwartz has given the Pressler and Pressler firm until June 30, 2011 to provide information about how often the firm has engaged in this practice. UPDATE: Pressler and Pressler did not respond to the discovery and now are left to beg Magistrate Shwartz for the same mercy that they do not show the people from whom they try to collect. UPDATE: US District Judge Hochberg has scheduled a hearing regarding Pressler and Pressler’s motion to dismiss on July 27, 2011 in her Court Room in the Newark federal courthouse. Still no word on what Magistrate Judge Shwartz will do about the refusal to respond to discovery. UPDATE: Magistrate Shwartz sanctioned Pressler and Pressler for discovery delays. UPDATE: Second sanctions order entered by Magistrate Shwartz against Pressler and Pressler. UPDATE: Case dismissed. Judge Hochberg dismissed the case, never addressing the legality of the “inventory.” We are considering whether to appeal or file a new case. Stay tuned.
Barrows v. Chase Manhattan and Hubschman & Roman, 465 F.Supp.2d 347 (D.N.J. 2006) Attorneys acting on behalf of banks in foreclosures are subject to suit under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for demanding excessive reinstatement charges. Barrows v Chase opinion
Smith v. Michael Harrison, Esq., Attorney debt collectors must review and have knowledge of the debts they collect and cannot blindly proceed without an investigation of the debt.Smith v. Harrison opinion
Stair v. Thomas & Cook and Rodman Cook, Esq., 254 F.R.D. 191 (D.N.J. 2008) Attorney debt collectors are obligated to inform debtors of their rights, even if a prior debt collector has done so.
Smith v. GB Collects Debt collector engages in improper conduct by sending a letter informing consumers of the 30 day right to dispute the debt and then following with a second letter demanding immediate payment within that 30 days. Smith v. GB Collects opinion
Poet v. Security Credit Systems Debt collector violates Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by sending letters failing to inform consumers of their rights and instead directing them to call the creditor.