In a recent post, I wrote about two of the main benefits a bankruptcy case can provide. One of those benefits was the “automatic stay” that provides protection from your creditors. Let’s take a closer look at the “automatic stay” and how it helps you. When you file a bankruptcy case, you are protected by law from a vast array of debt collection tactics and efforts. This legal protection becomes available to you immediately upon the filing of your case. With very limited exceptions that an experienced debt relief lawyer can easily handle, you don’t have to ask for it…Read   More

In my last blog, I described what constitutes a preferential transfer under the Bankruptcy Code.  Now I’ll go into a few of the defenses a creditor might have to a preference lawsuit by the bankruptcy Trustee.  These defenses, as well as several others, are set forth in Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code. Contemporaneous Exchange for New Value One defense a creditor might have is that the transfer was a contemporaneous exchange for new value.  This means that the debtor paid the creditor while at the same time receiving something of value.  The debtor and creditor must intend for there…Read   More

Earlier this week my partner, Robert Reese, posted an article about debt buyer lawsuits. He mentioned a case in New York where a debt buyer was fined for filing bogus debt collection lawsuits against New York residents. Mr. Reese noted that debt buyer lawsuits are not just a problem in New York and notes that he represents clients in Alabama in similar situations. Mr. Reese wisely suggests that anyone who is faced with this problem should immediately seek the advice of a competent consumer attorney. He’s absolutely right and, unfortunately, the debt buyer problem isn’t limited to New York and…Read   More

Debt Buyer Lawsuits

Posted on January 12th, 2015 by Robert Reese

Just finished reading an article that was originally published in the New York Times on 1-9-15 entitled, “Debt Buyer Faces Fine in Doubtful Lawsuits”. As a bankruptcy and consumer law attorney, I read the article with great interest and it confirmed what I have previously thought and observed. The Attorney General for the State of New York reached a settlement with a Debt Buyer over concerns that the company had filed thousands of flawed debt collection lawsuits against state residents. Although I only practice law in the State of Alabama, I see many clients who have been sued by third…Read   More

Many times creditors and debt collectors will coerce, usually by harassment, people into allowing them to take money directly from their checking or savings bank accounts. You have an absolute right to stop this seizure of your money at any time. Additionally, prior to doing so, the creditor or debt collector must issue written notification to you of the intent to take money from your bank account at least five days prior to the transaction where the money is taken. The law that applies here is called the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), it can be found here.  The  specific…Read   More

In Mississippi, each county has a justice court. These courts are staffed by not less than two nor more than five part-time judges and other staff. Justice courts hear small civil, i.e., non-criminal claims, and misdemeanor criminal cases. A “small” civil claim is defined as a claim of $3,500.00 or less excluding court filing fees which usually run between $64.00 and $74.00. A justice court cannot hear a civil case where more than $3,500.00 is being demanded. Debt collectors frequently use justice court to collect their small claims because cases proceed much faster in justice court than other courts and…Read   More

Being sued for debt can be very stressful; but, don’t panic! There is hope and you have options. But, be aware that lawsuits have deadlines that you must meet. Usually, you must file a written response to a lawsuit. Failure to timely file written response will result in a “default” judgment. You want to avoid such a judgment because it makes defending against the lawsuit much more complicated. So, getting competent legal advice as soon as possible is crucial. Don’t procrastinate! Recently, there has been a large increase in a type of debt lawsuit known as a “debt buyer” lawsuit….Read   More