Debt Collection Defense
| Lemon Law
handle consumer rights claims for breaches of warranty and
unfair or deceptive practices by the manufacturers and
providers of goods and services, bringing actions under
various state and federal consumer protection statutes. I also
defend consumers against mortgage holders and debt collectors.
Below are just a few areas of particular interest.
Contact me to learn more.
-back to top-
Debt Collection Defense
Are you being harassed by debt collectors? Certain tactics by
debt collectors are both out-of-bounds and in violation of
federal law setting forth fair debt collection practices. When
a debt collector violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act, the debt collector is liable for actual and/or statutory
damages, as well as attorney’s fees. You can sue the debt
collector under this act, and I have done this successfully
against debt collectors who did not follow the law.
But what about the letters and phone calls about that really
old debt, the one that dropped off your credit report years
It is becoming increasingly common in Ohio for debt collectors
to seek collection on alleged debts that are up to fifteen
years old. Here is why: portfolios of old debt, debts that
were long ago written off, are bundled and sold to companies
that mine them looking to collect not only the old debt, but
years of interest. You may have once had a legitimate dispute
over the debt (which may be why you never paid it), but years
later, documentation is lost, witnesses are missing, and
memories fade. Furthermore, debt gets transferred and sold,
and then transferred and sold again. The original creditor may
be out of business or merged into another institution. The
original record keepers and anyone with personal knowledge as
to your situation usually has long disappeared.
These companies that buy up old debt are betting that if they
call you enough, you will pay them to go away. And some of
them file lawsuits on those debts, betting that you won’t
appear in court to defend an old debt you barely remember.
This debt is almost fifteen years old – they can’t do this,
right? Wrong. In Ohio, the statute of limitations on written
contracts is fifteen years. Technically, they can file these
lawsuits. But there are defenses. And the worst thing you can
do is nothing, because if you don’t appear and defend in
court, they can get a default judgment against you. Once
they’ve done that, they can garnish your wages, empty out your
bank accounts, and put a lien on your house.
Here is a little secret these companies that buy old debts
don’t want you to know: sometimes all the evidence they have
of your so-called debt is just a line on list, or a
reproduction of a single statement that has your name on it
and a dollar amount – with little or no other documentation to
show that this is really your debt or that the person whose
name appears on the paperwork is actually you. Some of these
outfits are attempting to collect debts that, if they were
made to prove the existence of that debt in a court of law,
would be unable to provide sufficient evidence of that debt –
which would mean that they would not be able to prove that
they are entitled to anything.
I used to represent creditors and collection agencies. I know
what they debt collectors are supposed to do, and I know more
than a few of the tricks. Some of the tricks aren’t legal.
Even if you agree that you owe something, it is often a lot
less than what the collectors are demanding. They are ways to
cut those debts down to a fair size, and sometimes, make it go
away all together. If you thought you had no choice but to
pay, let’s discuss it. Use the contact
form or call me at 440.996.0066.
-back to top-
Has your motor vehicle been in the repair shop three or more
times for the same problem? Has your vehicle been in the
repair shop for thirty or more calendar days for repairs? Have
there been six or more repair attempts made to various
problems, including repairs to separate problems within a
single particular visit to the repair shop? Has your vehicle
has been in the shop for a problem that was never fixed
properly under warranty and, now that the warranty has ended,
continues to be a problem?
If any of the above applies to you, you might have a lemon.
Certainly, all cars require maintenance. But a motor vehicle
is a lemon if it has so many problems that you are deprived of
the beneficial use of it, or if the problems make it unsafe,
or if the problems just don’t get fixed after repeated visits
to the repair shop.
Ohio’s Lemon Law, together with various state and federal laws
can provide relief. There are presumptions under Ohio law that
may apply to problems that arise during your vehicle’s first
year and 18,000 miles. Even if problems arose in your vehicle
after the first year, or if you purchased it used with a
warranty or “certified” by the manufacturer or dealership,
there may still be grounds for relief under for breach of
warranty, among other laws.
Don’t take the word of the dealership or the repair shop for
what the law is. They may not know – and even if they do – it
may not be in their interest to tell you. Use the
contact form to let me know of your
situation, and we can discuss it.
-back to top-