OK. I hate telling this story because I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I am told however, that confronting your demons is the best well to dispel them. Here is my story and how my firm and I got here to help you.
When I started my firm back in 1990, I was a debt collection attorney. I collected debts from people and I enjoyed it. I was good at it. I was so good at it that we secured some large institutional clients such as large banks, hospital systems, collection agencies, you name it. We grew to 3 attorneys and a support staff of 10 or so. We were rocking and rolling, suing and collecting from consumers.
In 2007, I obtained a default judgment against a lady on behalf of Childrens Hospital of Detroit. She took me to court to set it aside. She told the judge how her kid got sick and spent a lot of time at the hospital. In trying to save their child, they went through their insurance benefits, life savings and pretty much everything else they had to keep their child alive. She did not get to complete her argument because I put my hands up and said that I would stipulate to set aside the default and judgment.
I went home that night told my wife that I really had no idea what I was doing to people. We had so many lawsuits, that people became file numbers and account balances; nothing more. That day, I realized that people were something much more. I was embarrassed to learn how shallow my thinking of people really was. What did this say about me as a human being? Not much. I told her that I could not do debt collection work anymore. I had it.
Fate subsequently lent a hand as a friend of mine was hassled by a debt collector and came to me for help. I sued the debt collector and made him pay damages to my client along with our costs and fees. My friend was quite happy with the result. I was happy because I found a new way to practice law that would make me happy. I help people now instead of hurting them. I gave up debt collection against consumers and have never looked back.
Today, we are the largest filer of credit lawsuits against banks, debt collectors and credit reporting agencies in Michigan. I love what I do as a lawyer. I am growing our practice as we expand into other states.
That IS my story….and I’m stickin to it!