"The bad players in the debt collection industry can only be reined in if someone holds them accountable. Consumer attorneys who fight for the little guy should be commended, not demonized."
Stamford, CT (PRWEB) March 3, 2011
Consumer fair debt collection attorney Sergei Lemberg challenged the Denver Post's characterization of fair debt attorneys in its February 27 story, "Consumers Dealing with Debt Collectors Become Stuck in a Vicious Cycle of Lawsuits." In part, the story said, "...Some say the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has morphed into little more than fodder for lawsuit mills cranking out hundreds of cases yearly - thousands nationally - enriching the lawyers filing them and minimally helping the consumers for whom the laws were written."
Lemberg asserts that the Denver Post piece unfairly singled out consumer attorneys as the beneficiaries of the FDCPA while failing to address the systemic problems of the debt collection industry. "The other side of the story is that collection agencies cut costs with 'attorney mils' and 'lawsuit mills,' bypassing traditional collection methods and abusing the taxpayer-funded court system to get judgments against consumers - often without ever notifying the consumer that he's being sued," he said.
Moreover, Lemberg noted that since the recession began, debt collection agencies have ratcheted up their illegal tactics. "As a fair debt attorney, I witness debt collectors routinely flouting the law, intimidating, threatening, and harassing consumers," he said. "As a result, consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission regarding illegal collection practices are at an all-time high."
While acknowledging that more lawsuits are being filed on behalf of consumers, Lemberg stated, "Consumers don't have the resources to fight collector abuse, which is why the FDCPA mandates that collectors who violate the law have to pay consumers' attorney fees."
Lemberg feels the Denver Post story hit the mark in one respect: by calling attention to the fact that the FDCPA allows only $1,000 in damages for the consumer. Saying that the amount hasn't increased since the law was enacted in the late 1970s, Lemberg noted, "The FDCPA needs to be amended to raise the amount of damages - something that Senator Al Franken proposed in the last Congress. Right now, debt collectors play a numbers game, and count on getting away with bad behavior more often than not. FDCPA penalties? They're just the cost of doing business."
Lemberg says that the foundation of the FDCPA is the notion that consumers deserve dignity and respect, and that debt collectors must play by the rules. He concluded, "The bad players in the debt collection industry can only be reined in if someone holds them accountable. Consumer attorneys who fight for the little guy should be commended, not demonized."
About Lemberg & Associates, LLC
The attorneys at Lemberg & Associates, LLC are experts in fair debt and lemon law, and practice in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. Sergei Lemberg can brief you about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, remedies available to consumers who are victims of debt collector harassment, and other relevant issues.