Debt Lawsuit News

October 27, 2014

Are You Dealing With a Real Debt Collector?

Some less-than-above-board debt collectors deploy a number of unsavory tactics while trying to persuade consumers to give them money, but none worse than this: trying to collect on debts that just don’t exist.more...

October 26, 2014

4 Misconceptions About Medical Debt

How much do you know about America’s most common type of debt?

No one likes to talk about medical debt. People often feel shame about it, even though nobody goes about accumulating medical bills on purpose. When a medical emergency occurs, there’s no time to think about the cost — all you want is the best care possible. Nonetheless, the bills come and can turn into a financial emergency right when you’re trying to recover.more...

October 25, 2014

Review: 'Bad Paper' by Jake Halpern

When a person stops paying his credit card bill, the lending bank has 180 days to collect on what is owed before it is required, by law, to "charge off" the account and file it as a loss. Soon afterward, the bank will sell the rights to collect on the debt to one of the 9,599 debt collection businesses in the United States for pennies on the dollar.more...

October 19, 2014

The big, debt-collection shakedown

The need to reform an industry that recovered $55.2 billion from Americans last year.

For the last two years, I have been chronicling the life of a former armed robber named Brandon Wilson. Wilson grew up in and around Boston, including in the housing projects known as “the Mystics” along Mystic Avenue in Somerville. As a kid, he was frequently getting into troublemore...

October 18, 2014

Food, water, shelter, and … protection from debt collectors

The Samaritan Center in Jefferson City, Missouri cares for the poor by providing groceries, free medical and dental care, Christmas gifts and Halloween costumes for kids….and lawyers to fight off debt collectors.more...

October 12, 2014

Time Machines in Credit Card Contracts?

There was a young lady who bought shoes in bulk, that way she got a discount and always had something to wear on her feet. The purchase landed on her credit card statement as a big debt. The young lady wondered how she would ever foot the bill. more...

October 11, 2014

The bankruptcy trap in student-loan debt

As a bankruptcy attorney, I get to see the issues affecting the economic well-being of Washington state families. Unfortunately, coming ’round the bend is the crisis of student-loan debt owed to private lenders.more...

October 5, 2014

Boom times for the repo man

The good news for the economy is that consumers are buying more. The bad news is that they're not paying for what they buy. Debt delinquencies are surging, and so are collection agencies.more...

September 30, 2014

Wage Garnishment Trend

Wage garnishment used to be all the rage for child support; lately it has been trending for consumer debt collection, especially within the 35 to 44-aged set.

A new study by National Public Radio and ProPublica shows that one in ten American employees between the ages of 35 and 44 have a lighter paycheck due to wage garnishment, and for those earning $25,000 to $40,000 a yearmore...

September 29, 2014

There's A Simple Way To Get Debt Collectors To Stop Humiliating You

Many people with credit card debt complain of harassment and humiliation by debt collectors who constantly call them at home and even work to demand payments.more...

September 28, 2014

Food, water, shelter, and … protection from debt collectors

The Samaritan Center in Jefferson City, Missouri cares for the poor by providing groceries, free medical and dental care, Christmas gifts and Halloween costumes for kids….and lawyers to fight off debt collectors.more...

September 27, 2014

Time Machines in Credit Card Contracts?

There was a young lady who bought shoes in bulk, that way she got a discount and always had something to wear on her feet. The purchase landed on her credit card statement as a big debt. The young lady wondered how she would ever foot the bill. more...

September 18, 2014

Bank seeks foreclosure on home equity loan

A bank has filed an application for an expedited order on a home equity loan against a Beaumont couple.

Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. alleges defendants Kimel and Elizabeth Hensley took out a home equity loan. However, they have failed to make 20 monthly payments, according to the complaint filed Aug. 11 in Jefferson County District Court.more...

September 17, 2014

With Debt Collection, Your Bank Account Could Be At Risk

Kari Fiotti moved back to Omaha, Neb., in 2009 after a decade living in Italy. She had divorced her husband and returned to the U.S. to start a new life.

Then, Fiotti, 44, took a pricey fall.

"When I came back, I fell and I broke my wrist without insurance," she says.more...

September 14, 2014

Tormented by debt collectors? Fight back

Despite the upturn in the economy, more than one-third of Americans last year defaulted on debts and bills that later went into collections, which means many of those people were probably hassled by a debt collector.more...

September 13, 2014

Medical Debts Will Soon Weigh Less On Your Credit Score, But They're Still A Problem

Seeing a doctor should make you healthier. But what happens when the bill comes? If you are like one-third of Americans, you struggle to pay your medical bills.more...

September 7, 2014

How to protect your finances from cyber hackers

Start by checking your monthly credit card statements – line-by-line.

It seems that every few days we hear about another cyber-hacking case. Last week, reports of a Russian cybercrime group amassing 1.2 billion usernames and passwords ran above the fold in The New York Times.more...

August 31, 2014

Don’t let bad collectors of old debts bully you

If you read only one thing this weekend, it should be a book excerpt, “Paper Boys,” by Jake Halpern, in The New York Times Magazine. It describes the colorful, seamy, more-than-borderline-dishonest world of firms that collect old debts.more...

August 25, 2014

3 Types of Debt You Never Want to Have

Debt is a problem for many Americans, but some types of debt are much more harmful than others. Knowing which types of debt are most harmful to your finances is important when it comes to controlling interest expenses and keeping debt under control.more...

August 24, 2014

Can I Request Proof of Credit Card Debt?

Dear Credit Card Adviser,

A collection agency for a credit card company is pursuing me for a balance that I do not believe is correct. I keep asking them for proof, but they refuse to provide it. They are asking the court for a judgment, but I do not have any records. What can I do? more...

August 23, 2014

Bank files lawsuit against entities who failed to repay more than $4M in loans

Wells Fargo Bank N.A., as successor to Wachovia Bank, also known as Wells Fargo Bank, filed suit July 28 in the Jefferson County District Court against Bolivar Holdings LLC, James L. Hayes, Thomas W. Harrison and Segue Properties Ltd. more...

August 18, 2014

Feds target debt collectors

Russell Grantham Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After an Atlanta-area county court garnisheed Eduardo Austin's wages to collect more than $3,300, the software developer thought he was done paying an old credit card debt from his college days.more...

August 17, 2014

Credit score changes will affect millions

Changes are coming to the FICO credit-scoring system, potentially allowing millions of people to take out loans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Fair Isaac, which produces the FICO score, will no longer include failures to pay bills when calculating a score if the issue has since been resolved. The tabulation also will take unpaid medical bills less into account, according to the Journal.more...

August 10, 2014

Credit score changes will affect millions

Changes are coming to the FICO credit-scoring system, potentially allowing millions of people to take out loans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Fair Isaac, which produces the FICO score, will no longer include failures to pay bills when calculating a score if the issue has since been resolved. The tabulation also will take unpaid medical bills less into account, according to the Journal.more...

August 9, 2014

Payday lending lawsuit dismissed

MONTGOMERY — A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge this week threw out a lawsuit challenging the state’s creation of a database to track payday loans made in the state.

Alabamians aren’t supposed to have more than $500 in payday loans at any one time, but there’s been no way to track if people loan shop from lender to lender. more...

August 6, 2014

A third of consumers with credit files had debts in collections last year

About 77 million Americans have a debt in collections, a new report finds.

That amounts to 35 percent of consumers with credit files or data reported to a major credit bureau, according to the study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute and Encore Capital Group's Consumer Credit Research Institute.more...

July 31, 2014

9 Ways to Outsmart Debt Collectors

If you’re one of the many people being dunned for delinquent credit-card, hospital, or other bills, it’s easy to feel intimidated by collection agencies and confused about the repayment process. But rather than panicking and avoiding your collector’s many calls—and there will be many—here are 9 ways to gain the upper hand in negotiations and, most important, keep from paying a penny more than you have to.more...

July 30, 2014

Study: 35 percent in U.S. face debt collectors

WASHINGTON - More than 35 percent of Americans with a credit history have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, says a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.more...

July 27, 2014

Fake debt collector impersonates Miami-Dade State Attorney

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is warning residents about a recent e-mail scam filled with legal-sounding jargon - but with notable grammar and spelling mistakes - threatening the arrest of the recipient if they do not send $750 immediately in order to pay off an alleged debt, according to public information officer Ed Griffith on Tuesday.more...

July 25, 2014

CFPB to scrutinize nonbank products: prepaid cards, debt settlement, credit repair, and pawn and title loans

Three years after it opened for business, on July 21, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it was accepting complaints from consumers with problems with (1) prepaid cards;more...

July 19, 2014

Feds crack down on debt collection 'factory'

Old debt doesn't always go away. Collection companies buy it for pennies on the dollar, hoping to make a profit by collecting the uncollectable. But some of these firms use illegal and abusive tactics to get the job done.more...

July 16, 2014

The One Way You Should Never Pay a Debt Collector

As the mother of five children and the wife of a disabled husband, Ashley was scared when she received a call telling her that one of her loans had gone into default and that if she couldn’t cough up the $398 she owed right away “they would send a sheriff to my job or home to serve me with court papers and I would be ‘behind bars’ for six months.”more...

July 13, 2014

Unpaid medical debts can lurk on credit report

At 67 years old, Carl Gasper still is juggling a fair share of debt.

He has a mortgage on his three-bedroom home in Green Tree, Pa., car payments on his Chrysler 300 and several credit cards with balances he carries from month to month.more...

July 12, 2014

Payday lender to pay $10M for illegal collection practices

Payday lender ACE Cash Express will pay $10 million in refunds and fines for illegal collection practices that federal investigators said pushed borrowers into a debt cycle.more...

July 11, 2014

How to choose a debt management company

A few years ago I lost my full-time job, and ever since I've been going deeper into debt. I have more than $30,000 in credit card debt, and now I am working full-time to pay back my debts. I constantly see ads from companies that claim to help people become debt freemore...

July 5, 2014

5 steps to negotiating a debt settlement

Deep in debt? You likely can avoid bankruptcy if you negotiate with your creditors.

Once you are deep in debt, it may feel like there is no way out. Even as you make payments, you might not be seeing your total balance go down, and bankruptcy can have a large negative impact on your credit. There is another option -- forming an agreement with your creditors to reduce what you owe.more...

June 30, 2014

I Used to Dodge Debt Collectors & Now I Have a Great Credit Score

Hiding the car from the repo man and renting a private mailbox so he didn’t have to provide a home address were just two of the ways Dan Nainan was trying to deal with his debt a decade ago.more...

June 29, 2014

Can you inherit your dead parent's debts?

For adult children, the death of a parent is a fraught experience. Adding to the stress: the unwelcome surprise that Mom or Dad died with big debts.

Who is on the hook to pay them?more...

June 27, 2014

How To Cope With Credit Card Bills After A Family Member Dies

Whether you’re rich or poor, famous or obscure, if you have a will, chances are it says something to the effect of, “pay my debts before you pay my heirs.” Your executor or personal representative — the person or institution you have named to carry out your wishes — must follow those instructions in accordance with state and federal law.more...

June 25, 2014

How To Cope With Credit Card Bills After A Family Member Dies

Whether you’re rich or poor, famous or obscure, if you have a will, chances are it says something to the effect of, “pay my debts before you pay my heirs.” Your executor or personal representative — the person or institution you have named to carry out your wishes — must follow those instructions in accordance with state and federal law.more...

June 22, 2014

What Happens If I Never Pay an Old Debt?

Maybe you can’t pay. Or maybe you won’t pay. Either way you have an old debt hanging out there. What if you just decide to let it go, and do nothing about it? That’s what reader Dave, who says he can’t afford to pay off the old debts he owes, asks:more...

June 21, 2014

Can Hubby Be Sued for Big Ol' Texas Debt?

Earlier this year, a man came to my door and gave me some papers for my husband saying he was being sued for bad debt from 2009. We live in Texas. I read online that an individual cannot be sued for a bad debt older than four years. Is this true? Should we contact an attorney? Please help. more...

June 15, 2014

Medical debt can have long-term consequences

At 67 years old, Carl Gasper still is juggling a fair share of debt.

He has a mortgage on his three-bedroom Green Tree home, car payments on his Chrysler 300 and several credit cards with balances he carries from month to month.more...

June 13, 2014

Is Debt Collection the Next Frontier for Nonprofits?

There are a number of industries that sort of automatically feel odious. Do you want to be a staff member for a payday lender? That’s always been one that has made this writer’s skin crawl. Others we’ve asked suggested being a shyster lawyer (ever see “Better Call Saul?”), claims adjusters (geared to say no), and used car salespersons—sorry, meant to say “pre-owned.”more...

June 8, 2014

5 steps to negotiating a debt settlement

Deep in debt? You likely can avoid bankruptcy if you negotiate with your creditors.

Once you are deep in debt, it may feel like there is no way out. Even as you make payments, you might not be seeing your total balance go down, and bankruptcy can have a large negative impact on your credit. There is another option -- forming an agreement with your creditors to reduce what you owemore...

June 7, 2014

Solving Debt Collection Abuse With a Tax Credit?

Tax law is often used to encourage behavior modifications to promote certain governmental philosophies and interests. For example, to increase implementation of solar energy among consumers, the government created a meaty solar tax credit. Want to increase the attractiveness of the American dream of owning a home? Make the mortgage interest and property tax costs a write off. more...

May 31, 2014

Using private collection agencies for tax debt is a bad idea

WASHINGTON — The federal government needs money. I get it.

The Internal Revenue Service has a significant number of overdue tax debts it needs to collect. More than 5 million taxpayers were delinquent near the end of April, according to the agency.more...

May 28, 2014

Looking for ‘Widespread’ Abuse of Consumers in Debt Collection

We are bombarded daily with articles, blogs and more about the “widespread” abuse of consumers by the debt collection industry. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to ensure that such pervasive abuse is curtailed or otherwise stopped all together. Don’t get me wrong, nobody and I mean nobody, should be treated unfairly or with any lack of respect, especially in times of financial distress. But is there really widespread abuse, or just cries of a small minority with powerful voices to back them up?more...

May 26, 2014

Southern California debt collection operation to refund $4 million

Southern California debt collection operation agreed to refund more than $4 million to consumers to settle allegations that its employees posed as process servers and used other deceptive tactics, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.more...

May 24, 2014

Embattled retailer KlearGear fights back against online review defeat

In a rare statement, online retailer KlearGear spoke out Monday against a recent default judgment that it lost in federal court earlier this month in connection to an online review lambasting the company's customer service.more...

May 20, 2014

Financial transaction complaints are widespread

Consumer complaints about products and services logged with various government agencies in 2013 run such a wide gamut that it makes you wonder if there is any such thing as a risk-free financial transaction.more...

May 19, 2014

Congress moves to turn back taxes over to debt collectors

The Internal Revenue Service would be required to turn over millions of unpaid tax bills to private debt collectors under a measure before the Senate, reviving a program that has previously led to complaints of harassment and has not saved taxpayers money.more...

May 18, 2014

Yes, you can beat the debt collector

Debt records are often incomplete.

The case was pretty cut and dry: Midland Funding sued Paz for $5,216 on an old credit card debt. Paz, 48, said the amount was more than he owed. But rather than accept the charges, as so many others do, the maintenance man from Alexandria, Va., contacted a legal aid attorney.more...

May 16, 2014

U.S. judge: Government's antitrust suit vs AmEx may proceed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department and several states against American Express Co over the credit card rules the company imposed on merchants can move forward to trial, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday.more...

May 10, 2014

Taking on the country’s biggest debt buyer, Midland Funding

Leoncio Paz took on one of the country’s biggest debt collectors — and won.

The case was pretty cut and dry: Midland Funding sued Paz for $5,216 on an old credit card debt. Paz, 48, said the amount was more than he owed. But rather than accept the charges, as so many others do, the maintenance man from Alexandria, Va., contacted a legal aid attorney.more...

May 9, 2014

Top State Judge Tightens Rules on Debt Collection

New York State’s chief judge announced on Wednesday that he would institute new court rules and protocols that would make it more difficult for debt collection companies to win default judgments and would offer more protection to debtors.more...

April 30, 2014

Calif. Rips Chase's Defenses In Abusive Debt-Collection Row

The state of California urged a Los Angeles County judge on Thursday to toss a bevy of equitable defenses JPMorgan Chase & Co. asserted against claims that it abused credit-card customers through shoddy record-keeping and other debt collection practices that have plagued the mortgage servicing industry.more...

April 29, 2014

Terrorized by Debt Collectors

The Politics of Debt Collection

“I used to be harassed by debt collection agency for a debt that was not my own…I had to change (phone numbers) because I kept on getting calls from a collection agency that were intended for the prior owner of the phone number. It did not matter how much I told them that they were calling the wrong number.” So wrote Dylan Tate, responding to a request for comments this year from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) on the public’s experience with debt collectors.more...

April 25, 2014

Law firm sued for alleged legal malpractice for not allegedly showing up to hearing

A local construction company is suing a law firm it claims is liable for not showing up to defend the company at a hearing where a $72,000 judgement was granted against them.more...

April 21, 2014

People with old Social Security debts get reprieve

WASHINGTON (AP) - People with old Social Security debts are getting a reprieve - for now.

The Social Security Administration had been participating in a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.more...

April 20, 2014

Important Reminders For Texas Consumers During National Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy month and the ACA of Texas wants to remind Texas consumers they have important rights if contacted by a debt collector about a delinquent or defaulted account.more...

April 19, 2014

FCA to Probe Credit-Card Firms’ Treatment of Fragile Borrowers

The U.K.’s financial markets watchdog will review how credit-card companies treat distressed borrowers as it takes over responsibility for regulating consumer credit.

The review will start “at the end of the year,” and also study competition in the 150 billion-pound ($249 billion) credit-card industry, the Financial Conduct Authority said in an e-mailed statement.more...

April 13, 2014

Answers to 10 Tough Debt Questions

If getting out of debt and staying out of debt were easy, everyone would do it. With over $3 trillion in consumer debt outstanding, that's clearly not the case. Here are some answers to readers' most common questions on dealing with debt.

Should I borrow from my 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt?more...

April 12, 2014

Foundation accuses credit card company of fraud

A Raleigh County organization is suing Citgo Credit Card, claiming they were unlawfully overcharged.

CreditCardSouthern Appalachian Labor School Foundation Inc. filed a lawsuit March 12 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Fleetcor Technologies Operation Company LLC, doing business as Citgo Credit Card, citing fraud.more...

April 9, 2014

Financial services company sues over loan default

A local financial services company is suing a customer whom it lent $32,000 for a car that was repossessed because of default and sold at auction.

Prestige Financial Services Inc. filed suit against Louis I. Alimonda Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on March 13.more...

April 6, 2014

Champion Mortgage files application to foreclose on Groves property

A mortgage company has filed an application to foreclose on a Groves home.

Nationstar Mortgage LLC, doing business as Champion Mortgage Co., filed an application for order permitting foreclosure of lien on March 24 in the Jefferson County District Court concerning Lucy Ann Meyer’s property on Lawndale Avenue in Groves. more...

March 31, 2014

Unpaid energy bill results in lawsuit

A Texas City woman faces a lawsuit after allegedly failing to pay her energy bill.

West Bay Acquisitions LLC, assignee of Stream SPE Ltd., doing business as Stream Energy, filed suit in the Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 on March 14, naming Reshea Toatley as the defendant. electric metermore...

March 28, 2013

CFPB Report: Collection Agencies Go After Non-Debtors

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was launched in 2011, part of its stated function was protecting debtors from unfair collection practices. What Congress might not have foreseen when it created the CFPB, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was that the agency might have to give debt collector protection to people who do not owe any debts at all.more...

March 27, 2014

What are unfair practices of credit card debt collectors?

MANILA, Philippines – Those who find themselves in neck-high levels of debt can be secretive about their situation, but the sooner they admit that they are in trouble, the easier it will be to get out of it.more...

March 23,2014

What to Expect When Your Debt Goes to Collection

Learn how debt collection agencies operate.

If your debt or account is sent to a collection agency, it pays to learn how collection agencies operate so you know what to expect.
When Will Your Debt Go to Collection?more...

March 22, 2014

11 tips for dealing with debt collection, collectors

It's something most consumers dread -- a debt collector calling to ask about an unpaid credit card debt, past due student loan or medical debt.

Consumer credit counselors, debt collectors and state regulators all agree that ignoring debt collectors' letters and phone calls is a bad idea. Deal with it, they say, otherwise matters can only get worse.more...

March 21, 2014

Know your rights: Texas Consumer Complaint Center can help

I heard that the University of Houston has a program to help with consumer problems. What is the name? How do I get in touch?

You probably are referring to the Texas Consumer Complaint Center. The Texas CCC, as it is known, was founded by the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center in 2007. more...

March 20, 2014

Countrywide Asset & Auto Recovery sued over unlawful vehicle repossession

A Galveston County man is suing over claims his vehicle was unlawfully repossessed. car being towedmore...

March 9, 2014

Tips for handling credit card debt

Credit card debt is a serious problem in the United States.

The average American household owes $15,270 on their credit cards, according to, a financial website.more...

March 8, 2014

Consumer debt collector complaints second on watchdog’s grievance list

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau started just last summer taking complaints about shady debt collection practices, but already they've zoomed to the second most frequent type of complaint the agency receives, topped only by disputes about home mortgages.more...

March 7, 2014

Bank customer's lawsuit raises questions about fraud liability

$80K fraud case highlights caveats and conditions giving banks a backdoor for liability

he case of an Ontario man who was charged more than $80,000 on his credit card for purchases he claims he didn't make is raising new questions about the security of online and credit card transactions and whether banks are shifting liability for fraud to their customers.more...

February 27, 2014

Collecting on Behalf of Unlicensed Debt Buyer Does Not Violate FDCPA: Appeals Court

A state appeals court in Illinois earlier this month ruled that a debt collection law firm that filed a collection suit on behalf of a debt buyer not licensed in the state did not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as alleged in a consumer action.more...

February 25, 2014

Woman has trouble convincing bank she’s alive

After spending nearly a year trying to convince her bank and a major credit bureau that she is alive, a St. Louis financial services supervisor filed a federal lawsuit against the two entities claiming their refusal to help fix the problem has blocked her from refinancing her mortgage or getting a new credit card. more...

February 24, 2014

Do You Have What it Takes for DIY Debt Settlement?

Drowning in debt and tempted to call one of those companies that promise to settle your debt for pennies on the dollar? You might want to consider do-it-yourself debt settlement instead.more...

February 21, 2014

Feds sue Utah companies, including a Swallow donor, for alleged fraud

Federal regulators are suing a host of Utah-based companies ­­— including a campaign donor to now-resigned Attorney General John Swallow — alleging the operations "preyed on consumers" with false assurances they could build successful online businesses.more...

February 20, 2014

Kimberly Haman wants people to know that reports of her death are greatly exaggerated

In this instance, it’s not a newspaper or TwitterTWTR -4.83% account that has apparently jumped the gun with a premature death report. Ms. Haman, a 46-year-old St. Louis homeowner, claims she spent months trying and failing to convince her local bank and a major credit reporting company that she’s alive.more...

February 19, 2014

Relax card holders, Capital One won't be knocking on your door

Relax Capital One customers. The bank says it won't be showing up at your front door or office to collect on a delinquent credit card bill, even though rarely-read fine print in the bank's credit card rules allow it to do just that.more...

February 18, 2014

Umphrey using his firm, his bank to fight Target over data breach

Beaumont plaintiff’s attorney Walter Umphrey is using his law firm and his bank to fight Target over the retailer’s massive data breach.

Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP filed a class action lawsuit on Jan. 29 in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota on behalf of Community Bank of Texas NA, and other similarly situated banks against the Target Corp. target-securitymore...

February 17, 2014

Judge gives attorneys clearance to reorganize CSN Houston

A federal bankruptcy judge refused Tuesday to delay proceedings in the Comcast SportsNet Houston case, clearing the way for attorneys to proceed with efforts to reorganize the bankrupt regional sports network while the Astros try to get the Chapter 11 order overturned.more...

February 6, 2014

Third Circuit Holds That Debt Collectors Must Generally Comply With The Bankruptcy Code And The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

In Simon v. FIA Card Services, N.A.,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently ruled that a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding is not unconditionally precluded from bringing claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the "FDCPA").more...

February 1, 2014

Couple files lawsuit against banks over hidden fees

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are accusations that you're being charged a hidden fee each time you use your Visa and Master Card. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney did some investigating to tell us what this is all about.more...

January 28, 2014

Work-at-home deal puts widow in debt

Work-at-home scams often appear obvious. Right up there with the Nigerian letter. People often say, “Who would fall for that?”

The victims are surprisingly ordinary. Many are retired or jobless, looking for an opportunity and willing to take a chance.more...

January 27, 2014

Wells Fargo files for foreclosure on home

A bank is filing an application to foreclose on a Port Neches home.

Wells Fargo Financial Texas Inc. filed an application for home equity foreclosure Jan. 13 in the Jefferson County District Court concerning property at 674 Birchwood Drive, Port Neches. more...

January 26, 2014

Consumer Reporting Data

Consumer Reporting Agencies

Below is a list of consumer reporting companies – companies that collect information and provide reports on consumers that are used to decide whether to provide consumers credit, insurance, or employment, and for other purposes. This list doesn't cover every company in the industry.more...

January 24, 2014

Former star quarterback Vince Young files for bankruptcy

HOUSTON - Former NFL and University of Texas quarterback Vince Young has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He is millions of dollars in debt after years of wild spending and what he describes as bad financial advice.more...

January 19, 2014

How To Sue A Robocaller For $500 (And Up To $1,500) Per Call

How to fight back against robocallers.

Paula Bazydlo Bleck, like a lot of homeowners, is tired of robocalls from telemarketers. Her worst robo-nightmare includes regular recorded calls from a power-washing business that are, so far, unstoppable.more...

January 17, 2014

American National Insurance seeks writ of garnishment

An insurance company is seeking a garnishment to satisfy a prior judgment.

American National Insurance Co. filed an application for writ of garnishment on Dec. 23 in the District Court of Jefferson County 172nd Judicial District against CommunityBank of Texas. Gavel-judgemore...

January 16, 2014

Victim of Debt Collector Harassment Sees Credit Score Smeared

Pembroke, ON: It’s one thing to incur debt collector harassment for a debt that you duly owe and for whatever reason have been unable to fully pay. Even here, there are fundamental rights a consumer has against aggressive bill collectors.more...

January 15, 2014

5 credit blunders to avoid

Common mistakes borrowers make that put their credit scores into a tailspin

As 2014 kicks off, many Americans are resolving (as they do each year) to get their finances in order. Besides saving more, that means not repeating the mistakes that previously hurt their credit scores.more...

January 11, 2014

JPMorgan Fails to Dismiss California Debt Collection Case

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) lost a bid to throw out a lawsuit by the California attorney general alleging that the largest U.S. bank by assets illegally tried to collect debt from about 100,000 credit-card borrowers.more...

January 4, 2014

JPMorgan Accused Of Credit Card Misconduct By Mississippi AG

JPMorgan Chase & Co was sued on Tuesday by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who accused the largest U.S. bank of violating state consumer protection laws in its alleged pursuit of delinquent payments by credit card customers.more...

December 29, 2013

Lawsuit targets DKNY over credit card information

A Massachusetts shopper has filed a potential class action lawsuit against Donna Karen Co., which operates DKNY stores, over the retailer's alleged practice of demanding ZIP codes from customers making credit card purchases.more...

December 26, 2013

Biggest Class Action Suit against Visa and MasterCard Settled

A US federal judge has approved the largest class action settlement in a lawsuit of merchants against credit card providers Visa and MasterCard.

US District Judge John Gleeson of Brooklyn, New York, approved a $5.7bn (£3.5bn, €4.1bn) settlement between the parties in the class action lawsuit, accusing the credit card firms of fixing the credit card fees charged to merchants when consumers swipe cards while purchasing.more...

December 23, 2013

Judge to weigh Hood’s credit card issuer lawsuit

Tags: Attorney General's Office, banking, bench, court, credit card, credit card issuer, finance, Jim Hood, judge, justice, law, law enforcement, lawsuit, legal, U.S. District Court

JACKSON — A federal judge in Mississippi has been ordered to decide if Attorney General Jim Hood’s lawsuit against six credit card issuers should remain in U.S. District Court in Jackson.more...

December 22, 2013

Biggest Class Action Suit against Visa and MasterCard Settled

A US federal judge has approved the largest class action settlement in a lawsuit of merchants against credit card providers Visa and MasterCard.

US District Judge John Gleeson of Brooklyn, New York, approved a $5.7bn (£3.5bn, €4.1bn) settlement between the parties in the class action lawsuit, accusing the credit card firms of fixing the credit card fees charged to merchants when consumers swipe cards while purchasing.more...

December 21. 2013

Secret Inside BofA Office of CEO Stymied Needy Homeowners

Isabel Santamaria thought she finally caught a break in her effort to save her Florida home from foreclosure after nine frustrating months: She reached Bank of America Corp.’s Office of the CEO and President.more...

December 15, 2013

CFPB Studying Arbitration Clauses in Financial Services Agreements

New research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that arbitration clauses are commonly used by large banks in credit card and checking account agreements, but almost 9 out of 10 clauses allow banks to prevent consumers from participating in class action lawsuits.more...

December 14, 2013

Colorado AG settles with debt-settlement company over alleged abuses

The defunct Texas-based debt settlement company CreditAnswers has paid $225,000 to resolve allegations that it was operating illegally in Colorado.more...

December 10, 2013

$64K debt leads to litigation

GALVESTON – In light of an apparent $64,000 debt it claims it is owed, Ecolotron Inc. has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court papers filed Dec. 5 in Galveston County District Court assert North Star Water Logic LLC is the debtor, stating the defendant failed to pay $64,100 for equipment provided and delivered by Ecolotron.contractmore...

December 8, 2013

Argyle resident sues debt collector for invasion of privacy

SHERMAN – A resident of Argyle has filed a lawsuit against a debt collector claiming the debt collector invaded his privacy by placing numerous calls to his cellular telephone in an attempt to collect someone else’s debt. angry-man-on-phonemore...

December 5, 2013

FIA Card Services sues over unpaid credit card balance

FIA Card Services has filed a lawsuit against Beaumont resident Thomas Pyle, alleging he refuses to pay a credit card balance.

The suit was filed Nov. 25 in Jefferson County District Court. credit cards stackmore...

November 30, 2013

Bankruptcy judge denies debt relief for Parsons, THR

The latest turn in the bankruptcy cases of Jeff Parsons and THR & Associate is no bankruptcy at all.

Chief Judge Mary Gorman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Central Illinois has denied the bankruptcy petitions of Parsons and THR after trustees in the cases accused Parsons of attempting to hide millions in cash and assets.more...

November 28, 2013

Payday Lenders Are Using Texas Prosecutors to Collect Their Bad Debts

The payday lending industry in Texas has managed to wrap its tentacles around just about every level of government there is, repeatedly killing any move toward meaningful regulation on the part of the state Legislature, skirting rules set up by municipalities, Dallas included, aimed at curbing its worst abuses, and, now, getting county prosecutors -- the people Texans elect to lock up thieves and murderers and rapists and such -- to carry water debt-collection notices for it.more...

November 27, 2013

Mortgage Trouble Could Deal Big Blow To Banks

U.S. borrowers are increasingly missing payments on home equity lines of credit they took out during the housing bubble, a trend that could deal another blow to the country's biggest banks.

The loans are a problem now because an increasing number are hitting their 10-year anniversary, at which point borrowers usually must start paying down the principal on the loans as well as the interest they had been paying all along.more...

November 26, 2013

Homeowner sues Jefferson Co. claiming they sold his house without notice

Charles Kirkwood filed suit in the District Court of Jefferson County on Nov. 12, naming W. Properties LLC and Jefferson County as the defendants.

Kirkwood filed a writ of review after his property was allegedly sold at a sheriff’s sale without adequate notice. home-for-salemore...

November 21, 2013

Used a debit card to buy gas? There may be money waiting for you

PORTLAND, Ore. – A class action lawsuit has been filed that involves anyone who bought gasoline at an Arco or AM/PM mini-market station in Oregon the past couple of years.

It's all about the extra charge for using your debit card. Those fees are at the center of the lawsuit that includes millions of people.more...

November 17, 2013

Houston Firm Can't Beat Unfair Debt Collection Class Action

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Law360, Houston (October 21, 2013, 10:12 PM ET) -- A Texas federal judge Monday denied Dover & Fox PC’s bid to duck a putative class action alleging unfair debt collection practices, saying the firm failed to defeat an allegation that it is a debt collector under federal law.more...

November 16, 2013

Important Tips For Consumers To Identify Legitimate Debt Collection Activity In Texas

In response to recent news reports about debt collection scams, the ACA of Texas offers the following tips for consumers to identify legitimate collection activities:

"Unscrupulous scams hurt Texas consumers and unnecessarily impedes legitimate debt collection efforts," said ACA of Texas Executive Director Tom Morgan.more...

November 13, 2013

LEGAL MATTERS: Stop Debt Collection Calls At Work

At least once a month I get a frantic call from someone being harassed by a debt collector at work. The person is always embarrassed and desperate to have the calls stop. Sometimes the person owes the debt; often they do not. In the really sad cases, the person has already paid the collector something but he is now demanding more. Here is what to do if you are getting collection calls at your job.more...

November 9, 2013

Ally Financial non-suits defendant in case over delinquent car note

Ally Financial has non-suited Beaumont local Jerry Colbert. The lender sued the man seeking to collect more than $15,000 from a delinquent car note. past due

As previously reported, the suit was filed Jan. 3 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show that on Feb. 14 Ally filed a motion to non-suit Colbert.more...

November 7, 2013

How To Stop A Car Repo

What To Do If Your Car Is In Jeopardy

Nobody walks onto a car lot with the intention of purchasing a car only to have it repossessed. Things happen; consumers fall into unforeseen financial hardship and simply don’t have the funds to cover their monthly expense of a vehicle. The loss of a job or unexpected medical expense can quickly make it impossible for the owner of a new or used vehicle to keep up with payments. After falling behind, the dealership and finance company can repossess the car and, barring a procedural violations, they have every legal right to. Unfortunately, it often isn’t so simple.more...

October 31, 2013

Small Business, Bad Credit, And Fixing It In A Single Bound

Although everyone has a high-level understanding of what a credit score means and why a good personal credit score is important, it’s critical for every small business owner looking for a loan.more...

October 31, 2013

Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams answers delinquent American Express bill suit

In January, American Express Bank, seeking to collect on a delinquent credit card account, filed suit against Gilbert T. Adams Jr. and his law firm.

As previously reported, the suit was filed Jan. 25 in Jefferson County District Court.

October 30, 2013

Bank of America to Pay $32 Million to Resolve Debt Collector Harassment Claims

New York, NY: When it comes to debt collector harassment, it’s not just third-party companies charged with collecting debts who are accused of breaking the law. Bank of America has reportedly just agreed to pay $32 million to settle claims of bill collector harassment on the part of the bank. The debt collector lawsuit was filed after customers complained they received harassing phone calls from the bank.more...

October 28, 2013

How an Overdue Library Book Can Hurt Your Credit Score

You might be surprised at some of the little things that can hurt your credit.

"Mom," my daughter said as she stood by my desk recently waiting for one of her homework assignments to print from my computer, "Did you pay this bill? It was due Oct. 4."more...

October 27, 2013

U.S. judge blocks New York credit card surcharge law Decision by Manhattan federal judge Jed Rakoff

* NY law banning card surcharges violated First Amendment

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - In a decision with possible broad implications for U.S. consumers and retailers, a federal judge has blocked enforcement of a New York state law that bans merchants from imposing surcharges on customers who pay by credit card rather than cash.more...

October 24, 2013

Penney's affiliates to repay $2.7M to Iowans in consumer fraud case

A Polk County judge on Thursday ordered two companies affiliated with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. to pay more than $2.7 million in refunds to Iowa customers who were enrolled in buying club memberships.more...

October 17, 2013

San Diego lawyer settles major robo-call lawsuit

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A San Diego lawyer has settled a milestone robo-calling class action lawsuit against Bank of America. The deal requires the mortgage servicer to pay more than $32 million to nearly 8 million people.

San Diego lawyer Mark Ankcorn spent two years battling Bank of America involving charges that the banking giant harassed consumers who fell behind on mortgage and credit card payments.more...

October 15, 2013

Report: Debt protection varies widely by state

WASHINGTON — Depending on where you live, debt collectors may be legally entitled to take your entire paycheck, house or car and completely clear out your bank accounts.

Families in the District of Columbia have a better chance of holding on to their vehicles than those in Maryland and Virginia. Yet Washington residents could have 25 percent of their wages transferred to a creditor.more...

October 11, 2013

The city of Beaumont has filed a motion for default judgment in a suit alleging a restaurant failed to repay more than $40,000 in money it borrowed from the city.

As previously reported, the city filed a lawsuit Feb. 13 in Jefferson County District Court against Epicurean Empire, doing business as Carlo’s Italian and Greek Cuisine, Nicholas A. Sartori and Jacques R. Gagne. italian restaurantmore...

October 6, 2013

Four state banks to pay $8 million in credit lawsuit

CHARLESTON (AP) - Four banking companies have agreed to pay the state nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they used deceptive tactics to sell credit card protection programs to customers.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday that Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank/Citigroup Inc. and GE Money Bank agreed to pay $1.95 million each in the settlement.more...

September 30, 2013

Scambook Alerts That FTC Lawsuit Shut Down More Robocall Telemarketing Scams

Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, would like to alert the public that the Federal Trade Commission recently shut down two companies that auto-dialed consumers with a recorded message that targeted victims telling them they were approved for credit card rate reduction services. more...

September 28, 2013

Credit Card Debt study

GREENFIELD, Mass (WWLP) - A new study by shows that U.S. consumers gained more than $17 billion in new credit card debt during the second quarter of the year, erasing more than fifty percent of what was paid down in the first quarter.

The average household now owes $6,658 to credit card lenders, up $68 from the first quarter ($6,590).more...

September 26, 2013

Four banks to pay state $8 million in credit lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four banking companies have agreed to pay the state nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they used deceptive tactics to sell credit card protection programs to customers.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday that Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank/Citigroup Inc. and GE Money Bank agreed to pay $1.95 million each in the settlement.more...

September 24, 2013

Bank of America goes to trial over U.S. mortgage fraud charges

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp heads to trial this week over allegations its Countrywide unit approved deficient home loans in a process called "Hustle," defrauding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government enterprises that underwrite mortgages.more...

September 21, 2013

Plano resident sues debt collector over threats to file criminal case

SHERMAN – A Plano resident has filed a lawsuit against a debt collector claiming that a company representative falsely threatened to file a criminal case.

Gale Hutchinson, also known as Corbett Hutchinson, filed suit against Commercial Recovery Systems Inc. on Sept. 16 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. girl-mad-phonemore...

September 15, 2013

8 myths of bankruptcy

Filing for personal bankruptcy still carries a powerful stigma in this country. Mere mention of the word conjures up images of deadbeats — irresponsible consumers who couldn't be bothered to get a job or figure out a budget.

Yes, there are deadbeats among the bankrupts. But the truth is that there are plenty of people who find themselves in desperate financial straits despite having initially had every intention of paying their creditors. A divorce, the death of a spouse, a severe illness or disability, the loss of a job can all propel even the most well-meaning consumer into debt hell.more...

September 14, 2013

CFPB Joins FTC in Amicus Brief on Debt Collection Case

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently joined the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an amicus brief filed on behalf of a plaintiff in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case before a federal appeals court. The case concerns language used in collection letters sent on time-barred accounts.more...

September 12, 2013

Credit Card Debt study

GREENFIELD, Mass (WWLP) - A new study by shows that U.S. consumers gained more than $17 billion in new credit card debt during the second quarter of the year, erasing more than fifty percent of what was paid down in the first quarter.

The average household now owes $6,658 to credit card lenders, up $68 from the first quarter ($6,590). says credit card debt always tends to go up in the second quarter of the year, because fewer people receive salary bonuses and tax refunds like in the first three months of the year. more...

September 10, 2013

Man says credit union refuses to modify mortgage payments

An elderly Jefferson County man claims his credit union has failed to help him modify his monthly mortgage payments and has instead started foreclosure proceedings on his home.

Edward R. Chmieleski filed a lawsuit Aug. 29 in Jefferson County District Court against Mobile Oil Federal Credit Union.more...

September 5, 2013

Putative TCPA class action lawsuit against GE sent to arbitration

On August 2, 2012, General Electric Capital Corporation (“GE”) was sued in California Federal Court for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). Exactly one year later, on August 2, 2013, the court stayed the action and directed the plaintiff to participate in arbitration to resolve her individual TCPA claims against GE.

Background of the GE TCPA Casemore...

August 31, 2013

Bankruptcy judge approves Danskammer sale

POUGHKEEPSIE - Dynegy is one step closer to exiting the Hudson Valley, after a bankruptcy judge on Friday approved the Houston energy giant’s sale of the shuttered Danskammer power plant to another Texas company.

Helios Power Capital is buying Danskammer for $3.5 million. The company plans to recover whatever value it can by scrapping the plant, and then redevelop the site, potentially building another power plant, said President Trey Helle.more...

August 30, 2013

Trial Begins for Man who Attempted to Hire Hitman to Kill Debt Collector

A suburban Chicago businessman is on trial for attempting to hire a hitman to eliminate a commercial debt collector that had just won an $8.2 million judgment against him for unpaid aircraft loan guarantees.

The trial of Daniel Dvorkin began Monday in a federal courthouse in Chicago. Dvorkin, 74, is the owner of Dan Development Limited, with offices located at 1 Trans Am Plaza in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Two affiliated companies took out more than $9 million in loans to purchase used aircraft. Dvorkin personally guaranteed the loans.more...

August 28, 2013

Under Fire from CFPB, Company Counterattacks

When Morgan Drexen Inc. found itself in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crosshairs, the company, which works with law firms to provide debt relief services to consumers, initiated a response that's proving to be both unusually aggressive and public.

The CFPB filed suit against the company earlier this week in California federal court, alleging that it charged illegal up-front fees and deceived consumers. But Morgan Drexen, which is represented by Venable partner Randall Miller, beat the agency to the punch, filing a suit in late July challenging the CFPB’s constitutionality.more...

August 23, 2013

Debt collection agency sued for continuing to call Denton man

SHERMAN – A Denton resident has filed a lawsuit against a debt collector claiming the collection agency violated federal law by continuing to call him after he requested they stop.

David Moyer filed suit against NCO Financial Systems Inc. on Aug. 13 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.more...

August 20, 2013

Man Who Outwitted Bank Ends $700K Lawsuit

Dmitry Agarkov, the man who sued Tinkoff Credit Systems for violating terms that he had added to the fine print of his credit card contract, has made peace with the bank.

"The conflict wasn't constructive, so we decided to end it like gentlemen, by withdrawing our mutual claims," the bank's president said in a statement published on the bank's website Wednesdaymore...

August 16, 2013

Julie Miller, Oregon Woman, Awarded $18.6 Million Over Equifax Credit Report Errors

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal jury in Oregon awarded $18.6 million to a woman who spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.

Julie Miller of Marion County was awarded $18.4 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in compensatory damages, though Friday's award against one of the nation's major credit bureaus is likely to be appealed, The Oregonian reported.more...

August 14, 2013

JPMorgan Chase's list of legal challenges

The London Whale trading loss is JPMorgan Chase's legal headache of the week, but it's hardly its only problem.

The biggest U.S. bank faces a swirl of investigations and lawsuits in addition to the $6 billion loss with the memorable nickname.

JPMorgan also is accused of wrongdoing in how it marketed mortgage-backed securities, how it chases down credit card payments from delinquent borrowers, and whether it should have noticed that Bernie Madoff was running a giant Ponzi scheme.more...

August 13, 2013

Debit card swipe fees inflated, judge rules

Retailers, convenience stores, food sellers and gas stations had sued over the Federal Reserve rule on credit and debit card transactions.

WASHINGTON – A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Reserve Board allowed banks and credit card companies to charge “inappropriately” inflated fees for using debit cards in retail transactions.more...

August 8, 2013

Montana woman sues East Texas debt collection agency for refusing to stop debt collection calls

SHERMAN – A Montana resident has filed a lawsuit claiming an East Texas debt collection agency violated federal law by refusing to stop its collection calls.

Tamara Jordon filed suit against Southwest Credit Systems L.P. on Aug. 2 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division. more...

August 7, 2013

Subcontractor claims it was not paid for work performed

A subcontractor has filed suit against the company that hired it to perform services, saying it was not paid nearly $300,000 for work it completed.

ESP Structure and Piping filed a lawsuit July 24 in Jefferson County District Court against U-Krane and Oxbow Corp. construction-crane-refinerymore...

July 31, 2013

Lawsuits over credit card debts spike in California, Nevada, Florida

Courts in states hit hardest by recession see a parade of debtors

Shipwrecked by the economy and swamped by debt, countless thousands of credit card holders now are finding themselves engulfed by lawsuits.more...

July 29, 2013

League City auto dealership seeks to recover $43K debt

GALVESTON – Benson-Sabin Partners Ltd. has filed a lawsuit against WM Jones & Co. Inc. in an effort to recoup $42,532.

According to recent court documents filed July 23 in Galveston County District Court, the alleged debt arises from WM Jones’s failure to acquire proper permits from the city of League City and pay suppliers and subcontractors.Breach-of-Contractmore...

July 26, 2013

Husband accuses wife of selling house, maxing out credit cards, keeping possession of personal property

A Madison County man says his wife sold their house, maxed out his credit card and has taken possession of several of vehicles without compensating him.

Frank J. Becsi filed a lawsuit against Linda S. Becsi July 3 in Madison County Circuit Court.more...

July 23, 2013

DOJ seeks $10M in damages from Texas debt-relief company

SALEM -- More than 400 Oregonians have fallen victim to a Texas debt-relief company. Now the Oregon Attorney General is seeking damages against World Law Debt, and hoping to ban the company from ever doing business in Oregon again.

“These were just fraudulent business practices,” said Jeff Manning of the Oregon Department of Justice. “We can’t stand for this.”more...

July 18, 2013

Adult foster home's foreclosure trial focuses on behavior of Chase, gambling homeowner

A Washington County adult foster home's wrongful foreclosure case continued Wednesday, with businessman Bela Lengyel portraying himself as the victim of a mistake-riddled big bank, and JPMorgan Chase portraying him as a big casino roller, even in financially tough times.

Bela Lengyel took the stand to explain why he and his wife, Eva, took their wrongful-foreclosure lawsuit against Chase to trial before a jury for the first time in Oregon.more...

July 15, 2013

Data breach trial involving Micros set to start Monday

A trial is set to start Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore over a Texas restaurant chain’s computer security-breach lawsuit against Columbia-based Micros Systems Inc.

Cotton Patch Cafe, based in Grapevine, Texas, filed suit in 2009 claiming Micros Systems (NASDAQ: MCRS) is liable for breaches in the credit card processing system the restaurant chain bought from Micros for its restaurant in Nacogdoches, Texas.more...

July 12, 2013

Bank alleges Beaumont medical supply company owes it more than $300K

A bank claims a medical supply company defaulted on its payments and owes the bank more than $300,000.

CommunityBank of Texas filed a lawsuit June 7 in Jefferson County District Court against Quality Medical Equipment and Supply, located on 11th Street in Beaumont.more...

July 10, 2013

Big lenders face scrutiny on collections

Regulators say debtors are being abused

Federal regulators are cracking down on questionable debt-collection practices by some of the nation’s biggest lenders.

The push comes after revelations that some of the same practices that have haunted the foreclosures of homes — like robo-signing and faulty documentation — have cropped up in efforts to recoup delinquent credit card debt.more...

July 5, 2013

PCI Compliance Sees First Merchant Challenge in Court

Merchant files first lawsuit aimed directly against a credit card company in protest of PCI noncompliance fines.
CHICAGO, IL, Genesco Inc., a Nashville-based specialty retailer with over 2400 stores worldwide, has filed the first ever lawsuit challenging PCI compliance fines issued by a credit card company. Terrance Howard, founder of (, says that this lawsuit could change the ways PCI compliance is viewed in the futuremore...

July 4, 2012

AG Hammers Texas Debt Collection Firm

Although lawmakers failed to tighten laws around the increasingly controversial debt collection industry during this legislative session, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is continuing the crackdown on the industry that began under her predecessor, John Kroger.

The Oregon Department of Justice today announced it is barring a Texas debt collection firm from operating in Oregon and seeking hefty monetary penalties. more...

June 29, 2013

Jamaica Beach man claims sale price for restaurant assets not totally paid, files lawsuit

GALVESTON – An apparent debt in the amount of $14,738 is the focus of a Jamaica Beach restaurateur’s lawsuit.

Recent court documents filed June 24 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 state that Steven Paul Segura lapsed on payments toward the sales price of Breck Porter’s assets in the 61st Street Diner in Galveston.more...

June 26, 2013

Banks settle W.Va. credit card protection suit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three banking companies have settled a lawsuit that alleged they used deceptive or misleading tactics to sell credit card payment plans to customers.

The lawsuit alleged that the companies' practices violated West Virginia's consumer protection laws. The attorney general's office filed the lawsuit in 2011.more...

June 21, 2013

Tiki Island woman sued for failure to pay $15K for home renovations

GALVESTON – Bill Wyly Development Inc. has initiated litigation in an effort to collect about $15,000 from a Tiki Island woman.

According to a lawsuit filed June 17 in Galveston County District Court, Lizabeth W. Comiskey refused to pay for renovations performed on her residence by the plaintiff.more...

June 19, 2013

Lenders seek court actions against homeowners years after foreclosure

For Jose Santos Benavides, the ordeal of losing his home was over.

The Salvadoran immigrant had worked for years as a self-employed landscaper to make a $15,000 down payment on a four-bedroom house in Rockville. He had achieved a portion of the American dream, earning nearly six figures.more...

June 15, 2013

JPMC Specialty Mortgage has filed an application for home equity foreclosure on the property of Clarence Wykoff, located at 5870 Ray Ave., Port Arthur, Texas 77640

The application was filed June 11 in Jefferson County District Court. more...

June 14, 2013

Debt collecting thrives in sewer

After Superstorm Sandy, an entrepreneur in Queens named Brian Pindell applied for a U.S. Small Business Administration loan to help restore his ruined graphic and Web-design firm.more...

May 11, 2013

Kemah couple failed to pay landscaping business for $70K project, lawsuit says

GALVESTON – Complaining that a local couple neglected to pay for landscaping and remodeling services, AJ’s Landscaping & Design Inc. has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court papers filed May 30 in Galveston County District Court claim Kemah residents Robert and Diana Gulledge owe the plaintiff $68,751.53.more...

June 6, 2013

NY AG sues HSBC over delayed foreclosure settlement hearings

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against HSBC Bank USA and its HSBC Mortgage Corp. division over allegations that the global bank is putting distressed borrowers more at risk by delaying state-mandated foreclosure settlement conferences.

The case revolves around what is known as the "shadow docket" in New York.more...

June 4, 2013

Lawsuit accuses Dollar Thrifty of charging customers for extra insurance coverage

Steve Roberts travels a lot for work. In March, he flew to Tampa, Fla. After landing, he went to the Thrifty rental counter to pick up the car reserved by his employer.

"I said, 'I don't want the damage waiver because I am covered by my insurance and by my credit card,'" Roberts recalled telling the Thrifty employee.more...

May 31, 2013

Congress may ease medical debt burden

Democrats and Republicans are coming together in an effort to prevent unpaid health care bills from ruining people financially.

There’s at least one thing Congressional Republicans and Democrats agree on, and it’s that medical debt is a problem. Members of Congress and their staff recognize that medical bills are confusing and prone to errors — and the debts can hurt creditworthy consumers by constraining their access to credit.more...

May 28, 2013

Debt collector sued for calling woman’s work place more than 15 times

SHERMAN – A Collin County woman has filed a lawsuit against a debt collector after the debt collector placed more than 15 telephone calls to her place of employment.

Beth Martel filed suit against Alliance Asset Management Inc. on May 10 in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The case was removed to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on May 23. girl-mad-phonemore...

May 24, 2013

Debt Collector Sued Over Tactics

A Lawsuit Alleges That a New Jersey Agency Sued Thousands Over Unpaid Accounts

Fausto Brito, a Bronx truck driver, said he was stunned to learn last summer that his credit was too damaged to obtain a home mortgage.

He was told he had been sued in 2006 by Palisades Collection over unpaid debt in an AT&T Wireless account. Mr. Brito said he never had such an account. Nor had he ever heard of the suit.more...

May 23, 2013

Medical debt continues to weigh on the shoulders of consumers.

Last year, 41 percent of adults ages 19 to 64 said they had problems paying medical bills or were paying off medical debt over time, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund.

The fund, a private foundation that promotes improvements in the health care system, also reported that many people surveyed were carrying “substantial medical debt.”more...

May 16, 2013

Millions struggling with medical debt

Medical debt continues to weigh on the shoulders of consumers.

Last year, 41 percent of adults ages 19 to 64 said they had problems paying medical bills or were paying off medical debt over time, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fundmore...

May 14, 2013

The 182% Loan: How Installment Lenders Put Borrowers in a World of Hurt

One day late last year, Katrina Sutton stood at a gas pump outside Atlanta and swiped her debit card. Insufficient funds. But that couldn’t be. She’d been careful to wait until her $270 paycheck from Walmart had hit her account. The money wasn’t there? It was all she had. And without gas, she couldn’t get to work.more...

May 10, 2012

Galveston attorney sues client to recover $7K debt

GALVESTON – A local attorney claims a client owes an outstanding debt to him and has filed suit against her, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed March 22 in Galveston County District Court asserts that Texas City resident Judy Loud has failed and refused to remit $7,328.28 to attorney Timothy A. Beeton, doing business as Simpson Beeton & Finegan LLP.more...

May 9, 2013

Congress may ease medical debt burden

Democrats and Republicans are coming together in an effort to prevent unpaid health care bills from ruining people financially.

There’s at least one thing Congressional Republicans and Democrats agree on, and it’s that medical debt is a problem. Members of Congress and their staff recognize that medical bills are confusing and prone to errors — and the debts can hurt creditworthy consumers by constraining their access to credit.more...

May 7, 2013

Truck renter says he was double-billed, called 100 times by collectors

PORTSMOUTH — A truck-rental customer is suing U-Haul, claiming he was erroneously double-billed, then referred to a collection agency that ruined his credit history, while calling him 100 times for money he didn't owe.more...

May 4, 2013

Texas AG Freezes Assets of Dallas-based “Credit Alliance Group” for Debt Collection Violations

(Source: Attorney General Greg Abbott) - DALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has charged a Dallas-based debt management firm with defrauding its customersmore...

April 29, 2013

Will my Husband's Business Card Debt Hurt my Credit After Divorce?

I am going through a divorce and live separately from my husband. He uses credit cards for his business. Some of the cards are in his name alone, and the bills go to his new address. I'm worried that it will hurt my credit if he doesn't pay the bills on time. Is there anything I can do to make sure he does not ruin my credit rating?more...

April 24, 2013

New California foreclosure actions posted a sharp plunge in the first quarter to levels not seen since the last housing boom.

Lenders filed 18,567 mortgage default notices on California houses and condominiums during the first three months of the year. That was a 51.4% drop from the previous quarter and a 67.0% drop from the first quarter of 2012, according to real estate firm DataQuick.

The filing of a notice of default is the first step in California’s formal foreclosure process.more...

April 23, 2012

AG: Banks ‘slamming’ customers with fees

Attorney General Gary King is accusing eight of the nation’s largest banks of deceptive marketing of protection plans for credit-card holders — a practice known as “slamming.”

Eight separate civil lawsuits filed in state District Court this week say the banks violated the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act by charging credit-card customers about $100 a year for “ancillary products” that often were useless to them.more...

April 20, 2013

Don’t believe lobbyist misinformation, payday lenders need tighter regulation

Today’s Viewpoints page has a piece by Lawrence Meyers, president of PDL Capital, offering an unsurprising industry insider’s defense of the payday loan industry. This piece is so full of misleading and outright wrong information, I don’t know where to begin. But I guess I should start with the credit line that explains who Lawrence Meyers is.

The credit line on his column lists PDL Capital as a company that “brokers secure high-yield investments to the general public and private equity.” Gosh, you would think it’s some kind of high-fallutin’ Wall Street investment firm or something. It is a company that provides start-up money so payday lenders can expand operations. It essentially provides high-interest payday loans to storefront payday lenders, title-loan companies and online payday lenders.more...

April 17, 2012

Brazos Forest Products sues to recover payment for delivered goods

Brazos Forest Products has filed suit against Wes Vice Hardwoods and Supply and Norma Vice, alleging the defendants owe nearly $20,000 for delivered goods.

The suit was filed April 11 in Jefferson County District Court.more...

April 14, 2012

The new industry that's creating big problems for Oregon consumers

Over the past decade, wrongful debt collection lawsuits and consumer complaints over debt collectors have skyrocketed. Perhaps the most significant reason for the increase is the advent of "debt buying," a relatively new industry that's been riddled with abuse and allowed to operate without meaningful oversight.more...

April 10, 2012

Be Cautious of Debt Settlement Companies

The radio commercials and online ads make them sound so tempting: a chance to reduce or wipe out completely credit card debt.

But are debt settlement companies really worth it? Can they do what they claim?

The Federal Trade Commission says debt settlement companies, typically offered by for-profit companies, are in many cases not a good option for eliminating debt.more...

April 8, 2012

Texas Debt Collection Laws: A debtors’ haven?

Today, The National List published the white paper on debt collection law in Texas, written by M. H. Butch Cersonsky of Cersonsky, Rosen & Garcia, P.C. (CRG). The firm has represented creditors, secured and unsecured, commercial and consumer, for over 30 years. They represent credit unions, medical providers to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They can handle high volume, i.e., over 5,000 cases for the Department of Justice, or work with small and medium sized creditors, always providing the highest quality of legal representation. The firm works hard to settle cases but is prepared to go to trial, where they excel at post judgment remedies. They have been a member of The National List of Attorneys since 2003. more...

April 5, 2013

9 Ways to Successfully Handle Debt Collectors

1) Get organized

Start a file cabinet where you begin to collect all of your financial papers. Need help? Read one of David Bach's Finish Rich books. He's one of my favorite financial authors and in his books he details exactly how to set up your financial file cabinet.more...

2) Have a plan from the start

April 2, 2013

Texas AG announces court order against Florida-based tax preparer

AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced an asset freeze and a temporary restraining order on Monday against a Florida-based tax preparation service that allegedly violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

LBS Tax Services allegedly engaged in tax preparation fraud throughout Harris County and the surrounding area. LBS allegedly represented that its tax preparation fee would be $75 but later withheld hundreds of dollars from the income tax refunds of its customers. Abbott filed a lawsuit against LBS to seek restitution from the company.more...

March 29, 2013

Law would address predatory nature of tax lien lending industry

In a March 11 opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, famed car dealer Red McCombs wonders why special interest firms want to take away the lien priority status of tax lien lenders that make loans to property owners who are in arrears on their taxes. He answers his own question with, "I have no idea, except maybe greed."

The groups he is referring to include Texas cities and counties, not-for-profit consumer advocacy organizations and banks that are concerned about the predatory nature of tax lien lending.more...

March 25, 2013

Big Banks Face Investigation Into Whether They Helped Debt Collectors Pursue Faulty Judgments

The largest U.S. banks face a multi-state investigation into whether they helped debt collectors pursue faulty judgments against credit card customers, according to people familiar with the matter.

At issue is whether weak record-keeping by banks or a failure to pass accurate information to collection agencies harmed consumers.more...

March 21, 2013

Attorneys Can Be Considered Debt Collectors Under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

My firm's General Counsel, indefatigable in her mission, opens my eyes on a weekly basis to new and creative ways in which lawyers can be sued, lately in situations where the mistake is not an obvious one that allows you to think, "Sure, but that could never happen to me!" In that regard, heed the latest warning that hails from the Sixth Circuit and rings loudest in the ears of the real estate practitioners among us. more...

March 19, 2012

Seafarers’ Center of Beaumont awarded $325K default judgment

A $325,000 default judgment has been awarded to the Seafarers’ Center of Beaumont, which sued John Eric Lindell, a Nederland based certified public accountant, for failing to maintain the center’s tax-exempt status.more...

March 17, 2013

Taken to Court for Card Debt? What to Expect

If you think ignoring a creditor's calls about an unpaid credit card debt will make the calls stop, you may be right. The creditor may send someone to your door to let you know "you've been served," instead.

If a debt goes unpaid and you've made no plans to repay it, your credit card company may sue you in civil court for the balance, hoping a judge will order you to pay. Not only could a judgment in the creditor's favor possibly allow them to seize your property or take the money you owe directly from your bank account or salary, but it could leave you responsible for all court-related costs associated with the lawsuit, as well.more...

March 13, 2013

Default judgment entered into lawsuit over $75K debt

GALVESTON – A late 2012 lawsuit arising from an alleged $74,658 debt has come to a close. Gavel-judge

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox ruled in favor of plaintiffs Barbara and Carl Valentino on Feb. 26, approving their motion for default judgment against defendant Jeff Barosh.more...

March 11, 2013

Nationstar Ordered to Stop Auctioning Some Loans

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NSM), the mortgage servicer that collects payments on more than $300 billion of debt, was ordered to stop auctioning some home loans backing mortgage securities after an investor sued.

KIRP LLC sued Lewisville, Texas-based Nationstar in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan yesterday, accusing the company of harming investors by auctioning the loans and abdicating its responsibilities as servicer. KIRP, based in New York, described itself as a “significant” investor in six residential mortgage-backed security trusts sponsored by Residential Accredit Loans Inc.more...

March 10, 2013

NY settles with leasing company in credit dispute

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's attorney general says a company that leases credit card processing equipment mostly to small businesses has agreed to settle a lawsuit.

Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) says Northern Leasing Systems Inc. will refund $3.6 million to customers nationwide for fees taken from their bank accounts in the spring of 2011 even after their leases expired.more...

March 6, 2013

Bill bans retailers’ credit card surcharge

Measure is response to federal court ruling

Washington may join 10 other states that now prohibit merchants from adding credit card surcharges to purchases.

The state House of Representatives expects to vote on HB 1870 today and send it to the state Senate.more...

March 4, 2013

Man seeks deposition to settle debt dispute

A man has filed a petition to perpetuate testimony against the Orange County resident who he claims owes him $40,000. loan-money-hand

David K. Haney claims he lent defendant Robbie Warwick $40,000 in relation to a partnership agreement and toward the purchase of a vehicle for the Warwicks and the purchase of a home for the Warwicks.more...

February 28, 2013

H&E files lawsuit against Texas International to retrieve $90K for crane repairs

GALVESTON – H&E Equipment Services Inc. claims Texas International Terminals Ltd. owes it about $90,000 for repairs, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed Feb. 21 in Galveston County District Court states that Texas International’s apparent refusal to honor the debt in the amount of $90,718.35 violates an agreement between the two companies.more...

February 27, 2013

Handling a Credit Card Dispute

If you have had a credit card for any length of time, it is likely that you've had an error on your account. It could be you were billed for a purchase you never made, billed twice for a transaction or did not receive a credit that was due on your account. When an error occurs, you have both legal and credit card protections to deal with these disputed charges.

Here are some tips for disputing an error or incorrect charge on your monthly credit card statement:more...

February 25, 2013

New Century Financial files lawsuit to recover $240K from several entities

HOUSTON – New Century Financial Inc. has filed a lawsuit in an effort to recoup approximately $240,000 from five entities. logo

NCF sued Oledix Technologies LLC, The Oledix Store LLC, Practical Technologies Inc. and Baltimore, Md., residents Curtis R. Martin and Dilip S. Dalvi in Montgomery County District Court last December.more...

February 21, 2012

Ninth Court justices wipe $300K sanction levied against Bank of America

Justices seated on the Ninth Court of Appeals have wiped a lower court’s decision to sanction Bank of America for $300,000 for violating a mortgage settlement agreement with a Beaumont woman.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, Trudie Crutchfield filed a lawsuit May 7 in Jefferson County District Court against Bank of America Corp., formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans.more...

February 19, 2012

Debt collection agency sued for threatening to put lien on Marshall woman’s property

MARSHALL – A Marshall woman has filed a lawsuit claiming that a debt collection agency repeatedly called her at work and threatened to put a lien on her property if she did not repay her debt. Citibank Visa

Becky Byassee filed suit against Portfolio Recovery Associates on Feb. 11 in federal court in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.more...

February 18, 2012

Fort Worth firm creates high-tech aid for a repo man

FORT WORTH -- On the streets of Laredo, repo man Rey Martinez bags three or four cars a week using license plate recognition cameras and software that instantly alert him to targets.

Sometimes he gets a ping for a vehicle while cruising a Wal-Mart parking lot. Occasionally he snags a car that pulls in front of him on the road.more...

February 13, 2012

Debt collection horror stories

Debt collector horror stories abound: There are threats to dig up the dead relatives of those who couldn't pay their funeral bills, promises to imprison debtors or take their children into custody -- even warnings that pets will be killed.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profane language, calling incessantly, inflating a debt and implying they are attorneys. And they can't tell consumers they will arrest them or garnish their wages or property unless they actually plan to take that action and are legally able to do so through a court order. Many states have their own rules governing debt collector practices as well.more...

February 11, 2012

S.H.A.P.E. Community Center's property sold in auction to collect unpaid debt

A well-known Houston community center has been auctioned off in a dispute over unpaid dept.

The S.H.A.P.E. Community Center stands for "Self Help for African People through Education," and it's been a staple in Houston's African American community for decades. Now, its future is in doubt over an unpaid bill involving a photocopier. So what went wrong here?

The bottom line is that the auction happened because Texas law allows it; property that isn't homestead can be sold to satisfy any judgment not paid, and that's what happened in the case.more...

February 9, 2012

Class denied in credit card claim

A federal court in California last week denied certification of a proposed class of Nike store customers. Gormley v. Nike Inc., No. C-11-893-SI, (N.D. Cal., 1/28/13). The issue, interestingly, was typicality.

Plaintiffs in these consolidated cases brought putative class actions on behalf of themselves and a class of consumers, alleging that defendants violated the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971, by requesting and recording the ZIP codes of credit card customers through Nike’s “Information Capture Policy.”more...

February 9, 2012

Can My Credit Card Company Sue and Take My Stuff If I Don’t Pay?

The Goal of Credit Card Lawsuits is to Strengthen the Lender’s Collection Position

Credit card debt, unlike mortgage debt, is unsecured debt. This means your credit card company can’t come immediately take your stuff when you don’t pay. Having said that, if you fall behind on credit cards, your lender will quickly try to transition from an unsecured creditor, who can’t take your stuff, to a secured creditor who can. Once an unsecured creditor obtains a judgment, they can then attach your non-exempt property in satisfaction of past due debts.
Nuts and Bolts Explanationmore...

January 28, 2013

U.S. Court Ruling Threatens Consumer Bureau Decisions

A federal court ruling limiting presidential appointment power could jeopardize a large swath of the work undertaken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the last year.

Although a court would still have to decide on the appointment of Richard Cordray, the agency’s first director, the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington raises the possibility that regulations and enforcement actions of the new agency could be overturned, according to regulatory lawyersmore...

January 24, 2013

Dallas woman sues debt collector after boyfriend is told about debt

SHERMAN – A Dallas woman has filed a lawsuit against a debt collector for violating federal law after her boyfriend was contacted about an alleged debt.

Alexia Crouch filed suit against National Patient Account Services Inc. on Jan. 16 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.more...

January 23, 2013

3 Debt Reduction Shortcuts to Handle With Care

When you’re in debt, there are shortcuts you can take to reduce the amount of interest you’re paying or even the amount of money you owe. They can be tempting but be aware that each of these shortcuts comes with a risk. If you don’t pay attention to these details, you may wind up losing money to interest and fees that could have been spent paying off your debt.more...

January 17, 2013

Bank sues woman for more than $5,000

A bank has filed suit against the woman who it claims failed to repay more than $5,000 lent to her. AmExcreditcard

American Express Centurion Bank claims it lent defendant Marsha Harman $5,101.17 in either cash or credit for personal purchases she made. However, Harman has failed to repay the bank the money it is owed, according to the complaint filed Jan. 3 in Jefferson County District Court.more...

January 15, 2013

CommunityBank sues over unpaid $24K loan

CommunityBank of Texas has filed suit against Sabine resident David Truax, alleging he has defaulted on a loan with an outstanding balance of more than $24,000. Community-Bank

The suit was filed Dec. 28 in Jefferson County District Court.more...

January 12, 2013

Aggressive Chicago Debt Collection Law Vote Put on Hold

A new debt collection law pushed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel did not receive an expected vote Wednesday when it was heard by the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection. At the urging of ARM industry representatives, the committee will receive input from debt collection stakeholders before proceeding next week.more...

January 9, 2012

Debt collection company sued for violating man’s privacy

A Port Arthur man has filed a lawsuit against a debt collection company for allegedly contacting him about a debt that was not his and violating his privacy.

Jerry Millwood filed suit against Glass Mountain Capital on Dec. 31 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.more...

January 7, 2012

Bank owed more than $5,000 after selling collateral on loan

A bank claims it is owed more than $5,000 after a man failed to make payments on his loan of more than $50,000.

Frost Bank filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against Warner Belanger.

In its complaint, Frost Bank claims it lent Belanger $52,000 on May 27, 2005. To secure the loan and guarantee repayments, Belanger placed a lot in Galveston County as collateral, according to the complaint.

On June 11, 2010, Belanger and Frost Bank entered into a loan extension in which the maturity date of the loan would be extended for an additional five years. The monthly payment would be $580.73 per month, the suit states.more...

January 3, 2012

Bankruptcies fall for 3rd straight year

The number of South-Central Texans filing for personal bankruptcy tumbled by 10 percent for the second straight year.

The drop coincides with the area's strengthening employment rate and the shrinking number of foreclosures.

There were 3,955 consumer bankruptcy filings last year in the San Antonio division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. That compares with 4,387 filings in 2011 and 4,880 in 2010.more...

January 1, 2012

Judgment in Texas on unsecured debt - Options?

An unsecured creditor has obtained a judgment against me here in Texas. He is now demanding I turn over all sorts of personal financial information. Can I fight this and can I overturn this judgment? I understand it would have been better before the judgment; but, that's no longer where I'm at.

I'm married and currently unemployed and would prefer not to declare bankruptcy.more...

December 28, 2012

Payday Loans for Christmas Cash Could Spur Yearlong Debt Cycle

Be wary of radio, Internet ads offering quick money to help pay for Christmas, experts say

Experts warn that people should not be tempted to take out payday loans to pay for holiday expenses.

Tom Tobar said the payday loan he took out for extra holiday spending money fueled a fire that consumed his family's finances.

"We only wanted $1,200," he said. "My kids were little. They didn't need a lot for Christmas."more...

December 25, 2012

Texas judiciary adopts new rules expedited rules for small controversies; less frivolous litigation

In 1998, the Texas judiciary overhauled its discovery rules to reduce the expense and delay of litigation. Among the many changes made was the adoption of Rule 190 which created three levels of discovery control plans based on the amount of monetary relief being sought. In 2011, the Texas Legislature took another step to address the cost and time-consuming nature of litigation when it passed HB 274, directing the Texas Supreme Court to promulgate four new sets of rules of procedure to further "reduce the expense and delay of litigation, while maintaining fairness to litigants." The court adopted the first two sets of rules on offers of judgment and permissive appeals in August 2011. In November 2012, the court adopted the final two sets of rules that establish mandatory expedited proceedings in civil actions seeking $100,000 or less and motions to dismiss meritless claims.more...

December 21, 2012

Ally Financial receives $8K default judgment in suit over delinquent auto loan

Ally Financial recently received a default judgment worth more than $8,000.

As previously reported, Ally Financial (GMAC) filed suit against Orange residents George and Tameka Tolliver on May 1 in Jefferson County District Court, seeking to collect on a delinquent auto loan.

Court records show that on Oct. 19 Ally filed a motion for default judgment, stating the defendants have not responded to the suit within the allotted time.

Ten days later, a default judgment was entered, awarding Ally $8,388.88 with interest at the rate of 10.49 percent per annum.more...

December 19,2012

Contractor hit with $500K default judgment

A woman who sued the owner of a construction company claiming he reneged on his promise to build her home was recently awarded more than $500,000 from a default judgment.

Janet Daniels claims she hired Rich Cove Construction on May 1, 2010, to construct a pre-built home on land she owned. As a partial payment toward the construction, Daniels paid Rich Cove Construction $177,437.60, according to the complaint filed April 27 in Jefferson County District Court.more...

Griffin & Matthews

December 17, 2012

Credit Card Debt Judgments

If you are in default on a credit card account, the credit card company can try to get a credit card debt judgment against you by filing a lawsuit. If the credit card company gets a judgment, it can use all sorts of collection methods against you to get paid.

There several ways a credit card company can get a judgment against you after it has filed a lawsuit. Read on to learn how a credit card company can get a judgment, and what types of collection actions it can take once it gets a credit card judgment.

What Is a Judgment?more...

December 13, 2012

Heather Rose, California Mom, Catches $16,000 Mistake On Credit Report

One woman’s horror story is enough to make you check your credit report as often as you check your email.

Heather Rose, a mother of three who lives in Roseville, Calif., found a $16,159 error on her credit report, CBS Sacramento reports. Unaware of the large error on her report, Rose claims that she has been denied credit cards in the past without knowing the exact reason.

The mistake came in the form of a court judgement from a credit card she never had. Money from the judgment was awarded to Chase Manhattan Bank in 2007, so Rose decided to contact the bank to address the issue.more...

December 12, 2012

Recent real estate foreclosures filed in Jefferson County

MCT Credit Union has filed an application to foreclose on lien against Douglas Moore and Rene Jones and their property located at 311 22nd St., Nederland, Texas 77627.

The application was filed Dec, 5 in Jefferson County District Court.

The amount in past due payments is $4,558.51.more...

December 7, 2012

What not to do with past due debt

Do not ignore calls or letters from creditors or debt collectors.

The biggest reason is that the first 30 days after a bill collector contacts you is the only window you have to dispute the bill. The Occupy folks suggest you dispute all the bills, even if you believe it's legitimate. That's because many debt collectors bought delinquent debt from the original credit card issuer, hospital or other business, and they may not have good enough records to prove you owe the debt, or that they own the rights to collect it. (For a sample, see Appendix D of the manual at )

The handbook also suggests that you have more leverage in negotiating a payment plan that is lower than the full balance in the first three to six months, before the creditor sells the debt to a collector. That's because the business takes a huge loss when it sells bad debts, selling them for just pennies on the dollar.more...

December 6, 2012

Cash America to Make Voluntary Reimbursement to Ohio Customers

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec 04, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Cash America International, Inc. CSH +1.69% announced today a voluntary program to fully reimburse approximately 14,000 Ohio customers for funds collected in connection with legal proceedings initiated by the Company in Ohio from January 1, 2008 to the present seeking the collection of past due loan amounts owed to the Company.

Cash America recently determined that a small number of employees did not prepare some court documents properly in many of its Ohio collections legal proceedings. While the Company believes the filed documents accurately depict the existence and amount of the debts owed to the Company under consumer lending contracts, the preparation and filing of these documents did not always comply with certain court rules.more...

December 3, 2012

Motion for default judgment entered into lawsuit against Texas City mechanic

GALVESTON – A motion for default judgment was recently submitted into a Pasadena man’s $26,000 lawsuit against a Texas City mechanic, recent court records show.

2007 Lexus is350

David Michael Adams is suing Johnny Washington, doing business as J&C Auto Body Repair Paint, alleging his 2007 Lexus IS350 was not properly repaired.

Court papers filed back in August state that Adams brought the vehicle to Washington on Jan. 14, 2010, who allegedly stated “that he was qualified to perform the necessary repairs, including repairs to the electrical system and body work on the car.”more...

November 30, 2012

What is a civil judgment and what does it do?

a "judgment" is usually for money damages or for money owed. Its an official finding and order of a court that "Y" owes "X" so much money and orders "Y" to pay.If the defendant refused the court's order to payk the plaintiff (the one who sued) can enforce the order(the judgment) in various ways. For example, he or she can put a lien on property, garnish wages(illegal some states), etc. Once a lien is placed on property, the plaintiff can often force a sale and get his money from the proceeds. The judgment always shows up on credit reports and is definitely a factor when you apply for credit.more...

November 27, 2012

Wretched Owner of BlueHippo To Pay Back Texans He Ripped Off

The Texas Attorney General's Office has announced an agreed judgment with the guy behind the BlueHippo uber-scam that defrauded consumers in Texas and across the country.

The sole shareholder of the defunct Maryland-based company, whose advertisements for computers bought on layaway targeted low-income folks, has agreed to pay $175,000 in restitution for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, according to the AG's Office.

The company went under in 2009 after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission poked around and discovered it collected $15 million while sending -- get this -- only one computer. And according to the FTC, that computer was probably shipped by mistake.more...

November 23, 2012

Ninth Court justices wipe $300K sanction levied against Bank of America

Justices seated on the Ninth Court of Appeals have wiped a lower court’s decision to sanction Bank of America for $300,000 for violating a mortgage settlement agreement with a Beaumont woman.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, Trudie Crutchfield filed a lawsuit May 7 in Jefferson County District Court against Bank of America Corp., formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans.

Crutchfield alleges the bank entered into a settlement agreement with her, promising to write off the remaining balance owed on her mortgage.more...

November 20, 2012

Things a lawyer should know about the enforcement of Rule 11 agreements

Attorneys who practice law in State Courts in Texas are invariably familiar with Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 11, or as it is more commonly referred, the “Rule 11 Agreement.” The Rule 11 Agreement can apply to anything from extending the deadline for objections and responses to written discovery to more complex settlement terms concerning the expenditure of company funds while an agreed temporary injunction is in place, any many things in between. However, and far less common, is a full understanding of the proper procedural steps to enforce a Rule 11 Agreement after a breach or differing interpretations of the agreement occurs.

For example, in Harris County District Court, I recently observed attorneys arguing over a “Motion to Enforce Rule 11 Agreement” related to the payment of funds “in the normal course of business.” more...

November 17, 2012

Suit filed over real estate services

Litigation is now underway over real estate services rendered.

Seeking to collect almost $4,000 in damages, Keller Williams filed suit against Re/Max Beaumont and Marc McDonald on Nov. 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, Keller Williams entered into a contract with the defendants to perform real estate services.more...

November 14, 2012

Top Five Myths about Filing Bankruptcy in Texas

While information about Bankruptcy is everywhere, differentiating myths from the truth can be troublesome. Despite the confusion, separating fact from fiction can be as easy as dispelling common bankruptcy myths and understanding how the process actually works, said The Carlson Law Firm.

As the holidays approach, finances can be tight, making life changing events like illness or loss of employment even more difficult for individuals and families to handle. Whether or not a person or family should file Bankruptcy in Texas can be a difficult decision; one which can be made even more trying with the abundance of information available on the web.more...

November 10, 2012

Credit Card Lawsuit Dismissed For Want of Prosecution

Q - I had a lawsuit to be served on a credit card contact but never served, This is in Dallas Texas and the case was dismmissed for want of prossection and case shows closed on the county records and I received the order of dismmisal from the court. Later I was served by placing on ny door and an order of substitute services was entered into the count recurds but the case still indicate case is closed. So is this screw up or is the case closed or still on going? more...

November 8, 2012

The other Side of the Gavel

Allegations about a property deal land a JP in court.

A desire to spend their golden years in an affordable but comfortable home led Richard and Ginger Moore to tap into their small nest egg for an $18,000 down payment and ink their names on a lease-to-own contract. The Moores aren’t particularly savvy when it comes to real estate transactions and contracts, but they trusted the seller — longtime Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Jacqueline Wright. She was selling a 2,400-square-foot home in the Snow Heights Addition of North Richland Hills for $149,000.more...

November 5, 2012

More debt problems for Brent Coon’s firm; Owes Mo. court reporter $10K

PohlmanUSA Court Reporting is seeking to enforce a default judgment awarded against Brent Coon & Associates in a St. Louis court.

Court records show PohlmanUSA filed an affidavit of filing of foreign judgment against the Beaumont law firm on Oct. 30 in Jefferson County District Court.

The affidavit, written by PohlmanUSA attorney John Jones,more...

November 1, 2012

Debtor dismisses appeal after reaching settlement with Morrell Masonry Supply

An appeal brought by Eugenio Herrera, who was sued by Morrell Masonry Supply for allegedly refusing to pay his tab, has been dismissed due to the parties reaching a settlement.

Morrell Masonry filed suit against Herrera in December 2009 seeking to collect on a property lien since Herrera allegedly refused to pay for materials he received from the company.more...

October 29, 2012

Texas Attorney General investigates missing $1.3 million in endowment money, former Lon Morris College president questioned

JACKSONVILLE — The former president of Lon Morris College is at the center of a Texas Attorney General investigation into a missing $1.3 million. The money comes from an endowment that should have reverted to Sam Houston State University after LMC declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.

Dr. Miles McCall — who was college president from July 2005 until he resigned May 24 — was questioned in Arlington this week regarding management of the endowment, according to officials and court documents. He had been ordered by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to comply with the questioning.more...

October 25, 2012

Discover Bank brings breach of contract suit

Discover Bank has brought a breach of contract suit against Beaumont local Dwight Johnson Jr.

The suit was filed Oct. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, the parties entered into a card member agreement, in which Discover made cash advances to Johnson.

“Defendant accepted each advance and under the agreement became bound to pay plaintiff the amounts of such advances, plus additional charges under the agreement,” the suit states.more...

October 23, 2012

Student loan debt hits record high, study shows

The average college student who graduated in 2011 had $26,600 in student loans, according to a new report, which estimates two-thirds of last year’s college graduates had student loan debt.

The average debt is the largest since the Institute for College Access and Success began compiling the figures in 2005, and it comes amid soaring college costs, record loan defaults, and a persistently difficult job market for college graduates.more...

October 17, 2012

Post-judgment remedies

This article is Part Five in a seven-part series on how to structure sales and what to do when your customer fails to pay. You can find previous articles in this series here: Structuring Sales to Ensure Payment; Signs of Trouble Before Payment Default; Default by a Customer; Knowledge is Power and What to Consider When Non-Payment Leads to Litigation. Please subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the box on the left, or check back weekly for additional articles in the series.

You have obtained money judgment against your debtor, thus turning you into a "judgment creditor" and them into a "judgment debtor", and now it's time to convert that important piece of paper called a "certificate of judgment" into cash or something that can be reduced to cash. First, determine what assets are available to pay your judgment, then determine how to access them.more...

October 15, 2012

Plumbing business sues to recover $28,500 in credit card payments

GALVESTON – Parker & Pompa Inc. has filed suit against EVO Merchant Services LLC, Discovery Bank, Discover Financial Services and Do It Best Corp. in an effort to recover nearly $30,000 in back credit card payments.

Recent court papers filed Oct. 8 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 2 explain that the defendants failed to remit $28,490.97 generated from Discover Card charges from the plaintiff’s customers from Oct. 7, 2008, through April 9, 2009.

The suit shows the complainant, doing business as Ideal Plumbing Co., entered into a contract with EVO, doing business as Bank Card Depot Inc., which called on the former to submit information pertaining to Discover Card charges made in Galveston County during the special time period.more...

October 11, 2012

Debt Judgment - Texas

Debt settlement is an option for consumers who are in unmanageable debt situations. Debt settlement companies negotiate with creditors on behalf of consumers to settle the debts by 40-60% of the original payment. Usually the consumer opens a separate "debt settlement" savings account at the bank of their choice. They make deposits into the account as the debt settlement company negotiates with creditors, lawyers and collection agencies on behalf of consumers to get the debt settled. Debt settlement does not guarantee results or that collectors will not continue to call. Debt settlement stays on credit report and creditors can still sue for the full balance. Most states have laws that protect the consumer. Texas however, is known as a "debtor friendly state" and has laws that go further than most when it comes to protecting consumers against creditors.more...

October 9, 2012

Fake Courtroom Debt Collector Wins Right to Fight $1.2 million Fine

A judge in Pennsylvania denied the state attorney general’s motion to enter a default judgment against a man accused of using a fake courtroom to coerce debtors into paying off their accounts. The latest move in the long-running case saw the AG ask for $1.2 million in penalties and fines.

The judge earlier this week denied a default judgment against Anthony Covatto, a senior executive of now-defunct debt collection agency Unicredit, based in Erie, Pa. Covatto is the half-brother of Michael Covatto, the owner of Unicredit and the man authorities say was the chief architect of a scheme that saw consumers lured to a fake courtroom under the pretense they were sitting before a real judge.more...

October 5, 2012

Vacating A Default Judgment (Order to Show Cause)

This guide provides general information for New Yorkers who are facing debt collection lawsuits in the New York City civil courts. It does not apply to courts outside the state of New York. It is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice in your individual case.

What is a judgment?

A judgment is the court's written, final decision in the case. If the judgment is against you, it will state how much money you owe to the plaintiff.

What is a judgment creditor?

A "judgment creditor" is a creditor or debt buyer that has obtained a judgment against
a defendant.more...

October 3, 2012

American Express will refund $85M to customers

American Express Co. said Monday that some 250,000 customers in Texas and across the nation will be reimbursed about $85 million in a settlement reached with the federal government over allegedly violating federal law related to the company's credit card operations.

The New York Times reports that several government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, conducted the investigation into American Express activities. The report said the agencies investigated transactions involving three American Express subsidiaries from 2003 to 2012, covering credit card advertising and how debt collections were pursued.

The company also agreed to pay $27.5 million in fines.more...

October 1, 2012

Collecting Your Judgment

It is very difficult to collect a money judgment in Texas. Our law provides that only non-exempt property of the judgment debtor may be seized to satisfy the judgment. Most judgment debtors do not have non-exempt property; in other words, most people have only exempt property. This means that even though you might obtain a judgment against someone, it is likely that you may never recover any money.

Please consider this before you take the time and the expense of filing a lawsuit. There are alternatives to filing a lawsuit such as the Dispute Resolution Center, Better Business Bureau, Austin Apartment Association, Austin Board of Realtors, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Texas Department of Insurance, The Texas Workforce Commission, and other organizations and agencies, which might better serve your needs.

If you decide to file a lawsuit and you obtain a judgment, you may follow these steps to try to collect your judgment.more...

September 28, 2012

Dallas Texas Jury’s Unanimous Verdict Finds Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc. Guilty Of Violating State and Federal Law

Dallas, TX – A unanimous jury verdict found in favor of the plaintiff in the recent trial of Shannon Whaley v. Morris & Montgomery, Inc, and John Hickman (No. DC-10-14604) in the 68th Judicial District Court, Dallas County Texas, for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(FDCPA), the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act (TDCPA) and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA).The plaintiff was represented by Noah Radbil of Weisberg & Meyers, LLC, Attorneys for Consumers. Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery and John Hickman were represented by Robbie Malone of Robbie Malone, PLLC, and the jury verdict awarded Ms. Malone no attorney fees for her representation of the defendants in this trial.

Shannon Whaley is a nurse who, in 2007, signed up for a home study course through the College Network. She financed the cost through a loan from Southeast Financial Credit Union. After receiving the course materials, Ms. Whaley discovered that the home study course was not what she expected. more...

September 27, 2012

Man asking court to substitute house payments for judgment

A man is asking the court to substitute his payments on a piece of Beaumont property toward any judgment to which his spouse is entitled.

Tommy Lynn Harmon filed a lawsuit Sept. 13 in Jefferson County District Court against Camille R. Harmon.

In his complaint, Tommy Harmon alleges he and Camille Harmon owned property on Lynnwood in Beaumont. However, Tommy Harmon claims he made a majority of payments on the property as he owned it before the couple was married.more...

September 24, 2012

CommunityBank seeks repayment on $6M in loans

A bank has filed suit against the Beaumont man who it claims failed to repay the more than $6 million it lent to two corporations.

CommunityBank of Texas claims it lent American Crane, Rigging and Sling Consultants and U-Krane more than $3 million and $2 million, respectively. Defendant Walter S. Lewicki Jr. guaranteed repayment of the money, according to the complaint filed Aug. 16 in Jefferson County District Court.

Since then, both American Crane and U-Krane have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the suit states.

CommunityBank has attempted to collect the money from Lewicki, but he has refused to make the payments, the complaint says.more...

September 20, 2012

Henry's Turkey Service ordered to pay men $1.3M

Records show earlier million-dollar judgments have not been paid

A federal judge has ruled that Henry’s Turkey Service must pay $1.3 million for the exploitation of mentally disabled men who worked for the company in Iowa.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Wolle represents the third million-dollar judgment against the company that over a period of 40 years sent hundreds of disabled men from Texas to Iowa where they worked in a meat-processing plant for 41 cents an hour.

The men were housed in a 100-year-old Atalissa school building the company converted to a bunkhouse. The operation was shut down in February 2009 after The Des Moines Register asked state officials about conditions inside the bunkhouse and the company’s lack of a license to care for disabled adults.more...

September 18, 2012

In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner

The letters are sent by the thousands to people across the country who have written bad checks, threatening them with jail if they do not pay up.

Collection notices.

They bear the seal and signature of the local district attorney’s office. But there is a catch: the letters are from debt-collection companies, which the prosecutors allow to use their letterhead. In return, the companies try to collect not only the unpaid check, but also high fees from debtors for a class on budgeting and financial responsibility, some of which goes back to the district attorneys’ offices.more...

September 14, 2012

Recovery of $18K debt sought by Capital One

Capital One Bank has filed suit against Beaumont resident Doris Breckenridge, alleging she owes more than $18,000 on a delinquent credit account.

The suit was filed Sept. 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, Capital One advancing dollar amounts to the defendant on a credit account that she became obligated to pay.

The suit does not state when the account was opened, but does state that the defendant ceased making payments on the account, thereby creating a default.more...

September 12, 2012

Three FDCPA Cases Revived in One Appeals Court Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Monday revived three separate cases that had been consolidated on appeal after reversing lower court rulings that the cases be dismissed because the plaintiffs rejected settlements that would have awarded them full relief under the FDCPA.

All three cases were brought by consumers alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In all three cases, the collection agency being sued offered settlements of $1,001 (an amount exceeding by $1 the maximum statutory damages available for an individual plaintiff under the FDCPA) and reasonable attorneys fees and costs. Plaintiffs in each case rejected the settlement offers.

The defendant companies in each case filed motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), arguing that because they had offered the plaintiffs everything they were entitled to under the FDCPA, the FDCPA claims were moot and should be dismissed with prejudice. Judges in the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida agreed and dismissed the cases.more...

September 10, 2012

Default judgment of $17M entered against Texas man

AUSTIN – A federal court in Texas on Aug. 24 ordered a default judgment of nearly $17 million against an alleged Texas commodity pool trader.

The order was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. It stems from a Commodity Futures Trading Commission complaint filed on Feb. 2 charging Christopher Cornett of Buda, Texas, with fraudulent solicitation fraud, issuing false account statements, embezzlement and failing to register as a commodity pool operator.

He will have to pay $10.16 million in restitution and a $6.78 million civil monetary penalty in connection with his alleged foreign currency pooled investment fraud.more...

September 6, 2012

Court approves Dynegy Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan

The independent power producer Dynegy Inc DYNIQ.PK said it has won court approval of its bankruptcy plan and expects to emerge from Chapter 11 by October 1, capping a reorganization marked by allegations of fraud and favoritism.

The plan was approved on Wednesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia Morris in Poughkeepsie, New York, Dynegy spokeswoman Katy Sullivan said.

It calls for a combination of Houston-based Dynegy and its Dynegy Holdings unit into a new company led by current Chief Executive Robert Flexon, and in which creditors would take a 99 percent stakemore...

September 4, 2012

Default judgment of $17M entered against Texas man

AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - A federal court in Texas on Aug. 24 ordered a default judgment of nearly $17 million against an alleged Texas commodity pool trader.

The order was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. It stems from a Commodity Futures Trading Commission complaint filed on Feb. 2 charging Christopher Cornett of Buda, Texas, with fraudulent solicitation fraud, issuing false account statements, embezzlement and failing to register as a commodity pool operator.

He will have to pay $10.16 million in restitution and a $6.78 million civil monetary penalty in connection with his alleged foreign currency pooled investment fraud.more...

August 31, 2012

Job superintendent sues roofing company over unpaid projects

The superintendent of a roofing project claims he was not fully paid for work he performed.

Ward Gregory Woodworth filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Monument Constructors, doing business as Monument Roofing Systems, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

In his complaint, Woodworth alleges he was working for Monument as a superintendent on large commercial roofing projects throughout Texas. For his work, Woodworth was supposed to receive a $1 per square foot bonus for each 100 square feet of roofing. He was also supposed to be compensated for any unused vacation time, according to the complaint.more...

August 28, 2012

Loan company seeks to collect on home used as collateral

A Texas corporation is attempting to collect collateral after it claims a Livingston resident has failed to abide by a contract.

Green Tree Servicing filed a lawsuit Aug. 13 in Jefferson County District Court against Cynthia M. Smith, Mike Smith and Leslie Smith.

In its complaint, Green Tree alleges it entered into a retail installment contract with Cynthia M. Smith. In turn, she offered a 2000 Fleetwood Homes of Texas No. 12 Carriage Hill model as collateral, according to the complaint.more...

August 23, 2012

JPMorgan Chase Credit Card Collections - Robo signing

One of Chase's most prolific affidavit signers was Ruben Alcaraz, one of three San Antonio liaisons with the in-house collections attorneys, court filings indicate. By law, collection affidavits require the signer to be familiar with the bank's pertinent records. "Based upon my review of the Plaintiff's books and records of Defendant's account(s), I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth in the attached pleading," states one Pennsylvania card-debt affidavit signed by Alcaraz. "This verification is made subject to the penalties of [Pennsylvania law] relating to unsworn falsification to authorities."

Numerous former employees say that Alcaraz and his colleagues rarely if ever reviewed such files. They routinely signed stacks of affidavits on flights and in meetings, which in some cases were attended by Helaire, Lazinbat and Chase compliance staffers. Nobody objected, Almonte and others say. Alcaraz also describes himself in the court documents as an "officer of the bank" and an "Assistant Treasurer." High-level Chase management had instructed the staff to stop signing documents using such titles around the middle of the last decade, four Chase sources say. But Lazinbat ordered them to do it anyway. An operator for Chase's internal switchboard identified Alcaraz as a "business analyst."more...

August 21, 2012

What Happens to Credit Card Debt When You Die?

After the death of a family member, many spouses, ex-spouses and even adult children find themselves with a surprise "inheritance" — leftover credit card debt.

When someone dies, the estate pays credit-card balances and other debts. If a person dies with more debts than assets to pay them, creditors can be out of luck — and they often are.

But there are exceptions that could leave the survivors on the hook for someone else's credit-card balance after that person's death.

Joint cardholders beware more...

August 17, 2012

Bank awaiting discovery response in candidate's bad check suit

GALVESTON - A local bank has submitted a motion to compel discovery responses from a local man who sued it over an alleged NSF check debacle.

A seven-page document filed Aug. 7 before the Galveston County 10th District Court asserts First Texas Bank has yet to receive Reginald L. Gilford Sr.'s answers.

As previously reported, Gilford claims FTB allowed a check he made out in the amount of $1,250 on Dec. 28, 2007, to pay the filing fee for his candidacy for the Galveston County Commissioners Court Precinct Three seat as a Democrat in advance of the Jan. 2, 2008, deadline to bounce in a lawsuit entered at the beginning of the year. more...

August 14, 2012

Appeals Court Overturns Judgment for Debt Collector in Letter Case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco Wednesday reversed a federal judge’s ruling that validated a debt collection law firm’s practice of sending collection letters “in care of” a person’s place of employment. The three judge panel was split in their decision.

The appellate court sent the case back to the district from which it originated — Sacramento — for further proceedings but, in a fairly unusual move, granted permission to have the case reassigned to a different judge. The panel said that U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez exhibited an “unfortunate dismissive attitude” toward the suit, the attorney who filed it, and the request to grant class action certification. more...

August 11, 2012

Bank awaiting discovery response in candidate's bad check suit

GALVESTON - A local bank has submitted a motion to compel discovery responses from a local man who sued it over an alleged NSF check debacle.

A seven-page document filed Aug. 7 before the Galveston County 10th District Court asserts First Texas Bank has yet to receive Reginald L. Gilford Sr.'s answers.

As previously reported, Gilford claims FTB allowed a check he made out in the amount of $1,250 on Dec. 28, 2007, to pay the filing fee for his candidacy for the Galveston County Commissioners Court Precinct Three seat as a Democrat in advance of the Jan. 2, 2008, deadline to bounce in a lawsuit entered at the beginning of the year. more...

August 9, 2012

Texas Judgments, What you need to know about Exempt Assets

Whether you have fallen victim to these difficult economic times, have experienced an unexpected expense that has depleted your budget or have simply overspent, no one is immune from financial problems. If you have fallen behind on the payment of  an unsecured debt, such as your credit cards, you face the possibility of being sued.

A question commonly asked is: “What happens if I am sued and a judgment is obtained against me?” Once a judgment becomes final, a creditor can begin the process of collecting the debt.  One of the more common collection methods is requesting the court to issue a writ of execution.  This writ orders the sheriff to collect and sell any non-exempt assets of the debtor to satisfy the judgment. more...

August 7, 2012

Bankruptcy stalls squatters’ eviction

A Colorado family is fighting to reclaim their home, after two strangers squatting in the house filed for bankruptcy, preventing them from being evicted.

An Arapahoe County judge ruled on July 12 that Dayna and Troy Donovan could return to their home of 13 years, giving the illegal occupants, who had been squatting in the house for nearly eight months, 48 hours to leave the property, CBS4 reported.

But just when their home seemed to be within their grasp, the Donovans learned that one of the squatters, Veronica Fernandez-Beleta had filed for bankruptcy just before the forced eviction was scheduled to take place — halting the Arapahoe County's eviction for the foreseeable future. more...

August 3, 2012

Can you negotiate a credit card debt if you are being sued?

Yes you can negotiate and settle a credit card lawsuit. In some cases, if you cannot raise enough money to settle in a lump sum, you will be able to set up affordable payment arrangements to keep from being garnished, or your bank account levied.

Being sued for a credit card debt happens at different stages of collection.
Are you being sued by a collection law firm on behalf of your original creditor:

Lawsuits in the first stage of credit card collections (your account has never been sent to a debt collector) is not that common, but it does occur. Most of the time (but not all), you have at least 6 months of nonpayment before the risk of being sued begins. The risk of being sued increases incrementally from there. Your original credit card bank may target your account for placement with a collection attorney based on several factors. The following is not an exhaustive list, and not all that helpful to you (since you appear to already have been served a lawsuit), but others reading this later may get some benefit from it: more...

July 31, 2012

Rising Student-Loan Debt: What Can Families Do?

ORLANDO, Fla. Bill and Susan Fay thought they had played all the right cards to get their children through college debt-free: savings, Bright Futures scholarships, thriftiness and hard work.

Then came cuts in the state’s education budget, higher tuition and soaring living costs for students. And then Bill was laid off from his job as a communications writer for Lynx, the region’s bus agency.

Now the Orlando family has taken out thousands of dollars in student loans to cover the expected shortfall in school funds for their two older sons — Dylan, a senior at the University of Florida, and Max, a freshman this fall at Florida State University. more...

July 26, 2012

Why you should always contest a credit-card lawsuit

Lawyers on the front lines say that credit card debt collection remains a horrific problem. “Most of the time, the borrower has no lawyer,” says Carolyn Coffey, of MFY Legal Services, who defends consumers being sued by debt collectors. “There are terrible problems with people not being served properly, so they don’t even know they have been sued. But if you do get to court and ask for documentation, the debt buyers drop the case. It is not worth it for them if they have to provide actual proof.”

There are very serious questions about the reliability with which debtors are actually served by the collection agencies who buy credit-card debts from the big banks for as little as $0.018 on the dollar. All too often, the debtor doesn’t even know that they’ve been “served”, and therefore default judgments get filed against them even when the underlying documentation is weak or nonexistent. more...

July 24, 2012

The Automatic Stay: An Effective Timeout and STOP Sign

In basketball, sometimes a timeout is crucial. If the momentum of the game is going the wrong way, a pause to regroup can be very important.

The same is true of debt relief. If you are considering bankruptcy, the automatic stay that comes with a bankruptcy filing can play an important strategic role. It can, for example, help stop foreclosure and creditor harassment.

This article will discuss the basic purpose of the automatic stay for debtors filing for bankruptcy in Texas and across the country.

Effect of the Automatic Stay

You can think of the automatic stay as a collection timeout to help you get back in the financial game. Another way to picture it, for people being bothered by creditors, is as a huge STOP sign. This is the case not only for unsecured creditors, but for secured creditors as well. more...

July 21, 2012

Debtors to collectors: Show proof the debt is really owed

A growing number of states are requiring collectors to prove money is owed
By Martin Merzer

Debt collector to credit card user: "Show me the money." Credit card user to debt collector: "Show me the proof."

Credit card customers and other consumers around the country are getting more protection from debt collectors -- both the many scrupulous debt collectors and the few unscrupulous. more...

July 19, 2012

FDCPA Lawsuits Could Decline in 2012 After Years of Growth

If the pattern through the first six months of 2012 holds, this year would mark the first decline in lawsuits filed by consumers against debt collection agencies claiming violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

Through the first six months of 2012, FDCPA lawsuits are down 6.7 percent from the same period a year ago, according to data from WebRecon LLC. If the second half of 2012 is a mirror of the first half, there will be 11,442 FDCPA cases filed in 2012, down from the 11,811 filed in 2011. more...

July 17, 2012

Woman sues B of A for wrongful foreclosure

A woman claims Bank of America wrongly foreclosed on her property despite its agreement to work out a modification with her.

Shayla Zuzukin claims that after she fell behind on her mortgage payments to Bank of America, it agreed to enter into a modification with her to allow her to catch up on her note.

On April 23, Zuzukin had arranged to meet with representatives from Bank of America to discuss the modification, but no one from the company arrived at her home, according to the complaint filed June 29 in Jefferson County District Court. more...

July 12, 2012

24-year-old claim pits man against TWC

AUSTIN (KXAN) - A Central Texas man says he's been targeted by the Texas Workforce Commission for a 24-year old debt he does not owe.

And he may not be alone.

KXAN has discovered that the state agency has sent thousands of notices to people it claims have either been overpaid benefits or received benefits they were not qualified to receive decades ago.

And the commission is going after every one of them. But as KXAN learned, the agency's records are old and incomplete. In some cases, the agency relies on "summaries" to help them figure out what may have happened. more...

July 9, 2012

Collin County man sues company after it obtained unauthorized copy of credit report

SHERMAN - A Collin County resident has filed a lawsuit against a company after finding the company obtained a copy of his credit report without his permission.

David E. Mack filed suit against Cavalry Portfolio Services on June 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Mack obtained copies of his consumer credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies in May 2011. He states that he discovered entries by entities that he was unfamiliar with in his TransUnion report, including information that the defendant had obtained a copy of the report in November 2008. more...

July 6, 2012

Is Credit Repair Right For Me?

Credit repair companies, formally known as credit repair “organizations” in the Credit Repair Organizations Act (hereafter “CROA”), act on behalf of consumers and attempt to get negative, or otherwise offensive information, removed from their credit reports. In general, the credit repair industry, which is over two decades old, tends to have a fairly bad reputation, warranted or not. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has called credit repair a “scam” and credit repair operators “con artists.” more...

July 3, 2012

Houston Resident Charged with Bankruptcy Fraud

HOUSTON – Christopher Fields, 49, of Houston, has been arrested on charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, false oath and false declaration, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

A Houston grand jury returned the four-count indictment June 27, 2012. He was taken into custody this morning and is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith at 2:00 p.m. today. more...

June 29, 2012

Bank of America slapped with $300k sanction for violating Beaumont woman's mortgage settlement

On Wednesday a local judge sanctioned Bank of America for $300,000 for violating a mortgage settlement agreement with a Beaumont woman.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, Trudie Crutchfield filed a lawsuit May 7 in Jefferson County District Court against Bank of America Corp., formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans. more...

June 20, 2012

Credit Card Lawsuit: How to Defeat Summary Judgment

Effectively, Summary judgment will probably be dominated in the event the facts presented during the training course of the credit score card lawsuit proceedings are undisputed, and accurate. Numerous credit score card companies who are pressing fees against delinquent debtors are hoping for the summary judgment simply because it truly is generally a fast method of getting the money they wanted with very little price tag. On the other hand, in the event the debtor fights against and actually defeated summary judgment, the creditor and their plaintiff are in for the prolonged haul. more...

June 18, 2012

Student loan company sues locals over $30,000 debt

The National Collegiate Student Loan Trust has filed suit against two Jefferson County residents it claims failed to repay more than $20,000 worth of student loans. more...

June 14, 2012

Judges say Tarrant County DA's office will prepare final judgments in bond forfeitures

After weeks of wrangling and special meetings, Tarrant County's criminal court judges have shifted from the district clerk to the district attorney the duty of preparing final judgments in bond forfeiture cases. more...

June 12, 2012

Bank seeks repayment of note and foreclosure of property

JPMorgan Chase Bank has filed suit against the company that borrowed money from it and the person who guaranteed a note, alleging it is owed more than $35,000. more...

June 8, 2012

Phantom debt collectors from India harass Americans, demand money

Hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans have been targeted by abusive debt collectors operating out of overseas call centers suspected of links to organized crime in India, law enforcement officials told ABC News. more...

June 6, 2012

The Watchdogs are on the Trail

Mistakes in credit reports cross political-party lines, but the new federal consumer protection agency assigned to regulate credit-reporting companies faces some significant hurdles in that task.

Chief among them is that a majority of Senate Republicans say the office has too much power. more...

June 3, 2012

Class action over 2nd-mortgage debt collection

A Texas company that is aggressively trying to collect second-mortgage debt from hundreds of Californians is facing a class-action suit in Santa Clara County that contends it is carrying out an "insidious and illegal debt collection scheme."

Heritage Pacific, started by twins Chris and Ben Ganter, who once starred in the real estate reality show "PayDirt," has spent millions of dollars since 2008 to buy at least 40,000 second-mortgage notes from around the country, mostly in California. It then uses fraud allegations against former homeowners to try to get them to pay up, often accusing defendants of misstating their incomes on loan applications. more...

May 31, 2012

Homeowners with foreclosed second mortgages targeted by Texas firm

Adding new uncertainty in the state's ongoing mortgage crisis, a Texas company is aggressively pursuing hundreds of Californians to collect second-mortgage debt - on homes they've already lost through foreclosure.

Many of these former homeowners believed their mortgage debt had been erased after their houses were taken by banks and lending companies. But the Texas company, Heritage Pacific Financial, has aggressively pursued collections and filed lawsuits claiming those debts still linger. more...

May 29, 2012

Credit Scars: Bad judgments

Anne Vitale wasn't alarmed when she first discovered a court judgment for an unpaid payday loan on her credit report. She thought, "I can fix this."

All that was needed was a little common sense to see that the debt was not hers. Also in her favor: She's a lawyer who knows her way around the legal system. more...

May 23, 2012

Credit Scars: Bad judgments

Anne Vitale wasn't alarmed when she first discovered a court judgment for an unpaid payday loan on her credit report. She thought, "I can fix this."

All that was needed was a little common sense to see that the debt was not hers. Also in her favor: She's a lawyer who knows her way around the legal system. more...

May 17, 2012

Mortgage company seeks repayment for manufactured home loan

A mortgage company claims a Jefferson County couple has defaulted on their monthly payments toward their manufactured home.

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance filed a lawsuit May 4 in Jefferson County District Court against Eugene Buesing and Gayla J. Buesing. more...

May 16, 2012

Collection agencies sued for reporting disputed debts on man's credit report

SHERMAN - A Plano resident has filed a lawsuit against several collection agencies for reporting debts on his credit report after he disputed the debts' validity. more...

May 11, 2012

Roy Garcia, Jr. v. City of Elsa

The City filed a three-page petition for declaratory judgment which alleged that the City entered into an agreement to transfer real property to Garcia pursuant to City of Elsa Resolution No. 01-07; that it extended credit to Garcia pursuant to a promissory note which was contrary to the laws of the State of Texas; and that Garcia defaulted on the promissory note.

Roy Garcia, Jr. v. City of Elsa

Case Number: 13-10-00440-CV


May 9, 2012

Judgment debtors sued by plaintiffs for balances owed - Appeal

Appellees Derwin Sims, Sr., and David L. Webber are assignees of two judgments previously owned by Forrest City Bank (FCB). In 2009, appellees sued appellants John and Ada Hauser, the judgment debtors, for the balances owed. The circuit court granted summary judgment to appellees and awarded them a total of $753,108.21. The Hausers appeal and argue that 1) the circuit court lacked personal jurisdiction over them; 2) they did not have the opportunity to complete discovery prior to the entry of summary judgment; 3) genuine issues of material fact remain as to the amount of the judgments and the amount of postjudgment interest; and 4) the summary-judgment order should be modified to conform to Arkansas law. We affirm the circuit court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over the Hausers but reverse and remand in all other respects. more...

May 6, 2012

Ally Financial sues over delinquent auto loan

Seeking more than $11,000 from a delinquent auto loan, Ally Financial (GMAC) has filed suit against Orange residents George and Tameka Tolliver.

The suit was filed May 1 in Jefferson County District Court. more...

May 3, 2012

Notice of Proposed Settlement of Reddy Ice Holdings, Inc. Securities Class Action

DALLAS, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The following release was issued today by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP:


May 1, 2012

Industrial supplier sues former business partner

A Dallas company claims a former partner continues to pester it for money that it does not owe.

Kilgore Industrial Supply filed a lawsuit March 29 in Jefferson County District Court against Conway Security Services, Jason R. Holloway and Shannon C. Conklin. more...

April 26, 2012

Seventh Circuit: Class action against Shell ultimately pointless

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - A federal appeals judge had trouble finding the purpose of a class action lawsuit filed against Shell over its credit card receipts.

Judge Frank Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit wrote Wednesday that Shell's practice of printing the last four digits of a customer's account number on its receipts is within the law and has not caused Shell's customers any actual harm. more...

April 24, 2012

How to best resolve a consumer complaint

As a consumer if you are ready to gripe, be sure to gripe to the right person with a well thought out complaint. Be realistic in your expectations and don't shoot for the stars, but certainly stand your ground.

The Better Business Bureau of Charlotte offers these tips: more...

April 20, 2012

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA") Applies Only to Third Pary Debt Collectors

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p, is a federal law that was instituted to regulate the collections practices of debt collectors and to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. However, it is important for businesses to note that this law generally does not apply to a business collecting its own outstanding accounts receivable. more...

April 18, 2012

Debt Collection Practices

The OCCC frequently receives questions and complaints from consumers about the negative debt collection practices they experience. Examples of unlawful creditor behavior includes excessive amount of telephone calls to debtors, misrepresentation of the facts to third parties, threats of arrest, and illegal repossession. more...

April 16, 2012


ALAN BAU INVESTMENTS, et al., Plaintiffs,
Case No. 10-42625, Adversary No. 10-4239.
United States Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division.


BILL PARKER, Bankruptcy Judge.
This matter came before the Court for trial of the complaint asserted by the Plaintiffs, Alan Bau Investments, A & L Abatement, LLC, A-Pal Offices and Office Services, Construction Systems, more...

April 12, 2012

Texas woman's suit asks Google, Amazon to explain use of personal information

TEXARKANA - A Bowie County woman has filed a lawsuit that asks the court to make a declaration that all information contained in her Gmail account is her personal private property and to order Google to declare how it is using the data it acquires. more...

April 10, 2012


Frank S. Smith, Jr.,
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, an officer of the United States of America.
No. 2100194.
Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama.

Decided March 30, 2012.

After Remand from the Alabama Supreme Court

The Alabama Supreme Court (1) has reversed the prior judgment of this court, Smith v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, [Ms. 2100194, June 24, 2011] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2011), which reversed the judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court, Bessemer Division, and (2) has remanded the cause for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. See Ex parte Secretary of Veterans Affairs, [Ms. 1101171, Feb. 10, 2012] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2012). We now address an argument of Frank S. Smith, Jr. ("Frank"), that we did not reach in our prior decision.1 more...

April 6, 2012

Community Bank sues to recover $5M note from Rao & Williams

Seeking to recover more than $5 million from a delinquent note, Community Bank of Texas has filed suit against Rao & Williams LLC.

The suit was filed March 28 in Jefferson County District Court and also individually names Anthony Williams, S. Rao-Kothapalli and Williams & Rao LP as defendants. more...

April 4, 2012


No. 09-11-00603-CV.
Court of Appeals of Texas, Ninth District, Beaumont.

Submitted on February 8, 2012.
Opinion Delivered March 29, 2012.

Before McKeithen, C.J., Kreger and Horton, JJ. more...

April 1, 2012

If Debt Collectors are Threatening Court and Reduced Paycheck, Take Control of the Situation Now says American Financial Solutions

When a debt collection company calls, many people are immediately placed on the defensive. Collection agents can be aggressive and make it difficult for consumers to propose repayment plans that fit within their budget. American Financial Solutions Education Director Becky House offers steps for dealing with the threat of a lawsuit. more...



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