Articles Posted in Recent Consumer News

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The Wall Street Journal reported late last month about the explosion in US legal jobs being sent overseas to India. It seems the economic troubles are causing some big companies to reduce legal expenses by hiring cheaper Indian lawyers.

While this is not directly related to consumers facing debt collection (although many collectors are now from India) or errors on credit reports (although the investigations occur off shore) it does show how the pressures on companies to reduce expenses (or raise revenues) reaches even into the most prestigious law firms. Therefore it should not be a surprise that companies will cut corners and even violate the law in collecting debts or keeping false items on your credit reports.

Unless I get a memo from Stan Herring outsourcing me, we still plan on being here representing Alabama consumers who are facing harassment by collectors and who are dealing with credit reporting errors…. Contact us if we can help you.

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Jonathan Stein is a lawyer in California with a couple of really nice blogs and he recently had an article entitled “Debt Settlement Tips” published by Avvo which has information about lawyers in various states (not in Alabama yet). If you are dealing with debt and need some suggestions, take a look at his article.

If collectors have started calling you and harassing you, it may be better to consult with a consumer attorney about your options. If you are in Alabama, please call us for a free consultation on all of your options and the good and bad of each option.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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One of our favorite blogs (and bloggers) is Denise Richardson who has a wealth of helpful information about identity theft and other consumer issues. Her personal story is impressive and the content of her site reveals her dedication to consumers. She has recently redesigned her website and blog – check them out and if you don’t subsribe by RSS to her blog we recommend you do so in order to make sure you get to read all of her posts.

Keep up the great work Denise!

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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Denise Richardson has a good post up about some recent scams that are affecting people, particularly older Americans. Check out her post and remember if something “smells wrong” trust your instincts – it probably is and you should proceed with caution.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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Credit reports are so important that there is the temptation to want to remove all negative information. We help consumers dispute false negative information but not correct negative information. Unfortunately, there are many credit repair firms that charge money to remove correct negative accounts.

According to this FTC release last month, many of these firms have been targeted by the FTC for breaking the law. Read the entire release but here is the first part:

The Federal Trade Commission and 24 state agencies today announced a crackdown on 33 operations that deceptively claim they can remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports, even if that information is accurate and timely. In the seven FTC actions announced today the Commission seeks to halt the defendants’ allegedly unlawful business practices, prohibit further violations, and make them pay consumer redress and give up their ill-gotten gains. In addition, the FTC announced three related credit repair cases earlier this year.

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Here is a great 6 minute explanation (with whiteboard) using bottles and glasses to explain the mess that has been created. I found this through a wonderful blog dealing with making presentations – Presentation Zen (great book also!). Check out this video and the Presentation Zen website.

 

 

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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Consumers can make a difference by being educated and taking action on their consumer rights. Abusive debt collectors can be sued. Credit reporting agencies can be sued. But the real long term difference will be made when we all (we are all consumers, right?) take action within the framework of the government. Here is a page on NACA (National Association of Consumer Advocates) which discusses what we can all do to make a difference. Please take the time to protect yourself by getting involved.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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The Consumerist recently ran a story on this gentleman who set himself on fire in a rent-a-center store because he said he had received too many late notices and collection calls.

Obviously there are serious issues involved with this man but Congress recognized when it passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that abusive collection tactics can break up marriages and have a terrible effect on consumers. If you are being abused by collectors please feel free to contact us as we sue abusive debt collectors.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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Our friend Denise Richardson has an interesting post about how Credit Solutions, supposedly the largest debt settlement company in the nation, is being sued for allegedly misrepresenting what it can do for consumers. With so many consumers facing crushing debt, there is a huge marketing campaign ongoing for debt settlement companies. While I’m sure there are some good ones, we typically hear of the bad ones who take consumers’ money and provide nothing in return other than a destroyed credit report and, usually, default judgments when the consumer is sued. If you are considering using one of these companies, make sure you understand what you are “buying” and what they are “selling”.

Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.

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We have repeatedly sued AFNI, a national collection agency, for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. AFNI’s response has always been to deny its wrongful conduct and to say any “mistakes” were isolated incidents. This week the Attorney General of Minnesota had to file suit against AFNI.

Here is a quote from the press release:

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson today filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against AFNI, Inc., an Illinois debt collection agency, for attempting to collect debts from Minnesota citizens who stated they did not actually owe the debts and for failing to substantiate debt that consumers stated they did not owe.

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