Earlier this year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed a massive victory for consumers by prosecuting two shifty debt collectors in the State of NY. The companies used business names that made it sound as if they were law firms, among other violations. As the Attorney General stated,
“More and more debt collectors are giving their businesses names that mimic law firms as a way to deceive individuals into thinking they are in legal trouble.”
The owner of several debt collection companies, John Chebat, was ordered to pay $175,000 in fines and change his collection tactics. Chebat is alleged to have lied to consumers about referring their case to a “nationwide network of attorneys”, used caller ID ‘spoofing’ to make it appear as if the call was coming from the local courts and other violations. In addition to the hefty fine, Chebat’s company must monitor his collectors to make sure they are complying with the law and stop all spoofing calls.
The second debt collection company, The Lombardo Davis Goldman Law Firm, owned by Frank Davis, is charged with mimicking a law firm’s name. They also used their website to add to the lie by using pictures normally associated with law firms – books, gavels and referring to their ‘litigation experts’. In 2011, Davis was fined $20,000 and ordered to stop using the name that mimicked a law firm. He was also ordered to install a monitoring system to keep track of his collector’s behavior. In 2012, the AG’s office reinvestigated Davis and learned he had violated all of the terms of the settlement. Davis is now ordered to completely shut down his debt collection company and is permanently barred from the collection business in NY, as well as a $5,000 penalty.
At Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers, we applaud the NY Attorney General and agree with his statement: “Predatory scams that prey on Western New Yorkers will not be tolerated…These settlements put dishonest businesses that engage in deceptive practices on notice. Our office will prosecute unscrupulous debt collectors to the fullest extent of the law.”
We, at Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers, want you should know that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows consumers to hire lawyers who can sue debt collectors for violating the FDCPA. These lawsuits cost you nothing. The attorneys’ fees and costs are shifted, by law, to the Defendant to pay. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882. For more information about your rights as a consumer, visit our website at www.micreditlawyer.com, which is filled with informative videos and advice to help consumers. Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers is here for you.