Must a Debt Dispute Under the FDCPA be in Writing?

By: Robert J. Nahoum THE PROBLEM: You’ve been contacted by a debt collection agency trying to collect a debt but you are certain you’ve already paid it.  You tell the debt collector that you are officially disputing the debt?  The question you are now asking yourself – is this oral dispute sufficient or must the dispute be in writing? The […]

What Damages Are Available Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

By: Robert J. Nahoum Federal debt collection laws, known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA for short), regulates the collection of consumer debts by third party debt collectors.  The FDCPA is a comprehensive statute that prohibits a catalog of activities in connection with the collection of debts by third parties.  The FDCPA imposes civil liability on any person […]

Can I Be Arrested for Not Paying A Student Loan?

By: Robert J. Nahoum A story of a student loan debtor purportedly arrested for failing to pay his student loans has gone viral.  The media has ran with the story and student loan borrowers everywhere are nervous.  You may be wondering how this could have happened – didn’t we eliminate debtors’ prison in America in colonial times?  Well the answer […]

Sample FDCPA Cease and Desist Letter

By: Robert J. Nahoum THE PROBLEM: Whether it’s mounting credit card debt, unexpected medical bills or even defaulted student loans, when you fall behind on your bills, the debt collectors will harass you. Understandably, anyone who has dealt with debt collectors feels abused, harassed and bullied.  This is due in large part to the heavy-handed tactics of the debt collection […]

What is Meaningful Attorney Involvement for FDCPA Purposes?

By: Robert J. Nahoum THE PROBLEM: Debt collection is a high volume business.  Debt collection law-firms are hired by collection agencies and junk debt buyers to sue consumers for defaulted debt.  The lawyers keep a percentage of whatever amounts they recover from the debtors.  For this reason, the profit the lawyers earn on any individual file is relatively small.  However, […]

Clock For FDCPA Claims Starts Running When The Bank Freezes Account

By: Robert J. Nahoum Federal debt collection laws known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA for short) regulates the collection of consumer debts by third party debt collectors.  The FDCPA precludes debt collectors from using false, misleading, deceptive and harassing debt collection tactics. If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, it can be sued for statutory damages up […]

A Tremendous Victory for New York Debt Collection Scheme Victims

By: Robert J. Nahoum As reported in the NY Times on Friday, November 13, 2015, a class of approximately 355,000 New York consumers victimized by the fraudulent debt collection practice of sewer service will receive $59 million in a class-action settlement that also bars a major network of debt collectors from continuing the unlawful practice. The settlement involves a network […]

Mel Harris & Associates Is Out of Business

By: Robert J. Nahoum Embattled New York debt collection law firm Mel Harris & Associates has closed its doors forever. Through its harassing and abusive debt collection tactics, Mel Harris & Associates has disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of New York consumers for years.  Well, it appears the chickens finally came home to roost. Mel Harris & Associates […]