Zealous Advocacy for Consumers, Employees,

Dissatisfied Clients, and Others Needing a Voice

  in Maryland , DC, and Virginia

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The insurance companies, banks and other lenders, debt collectors, and other large businesses all have their attorneys who take their side - and are paid very well for doing so.  This office provides affordable representation of equivalent caliber to those without unlimited budgets for attorneys.

No lawyer can practice in every field.  On the other hand, a lawyer cannot assess a client’s problem without hearing about it.  That is why this office provides a complimentary telephone consultation.  I will listen to the issues that you have and may be able to recommend someone who can assist you if I cannot do so.  The following are those areas in which this office is best able to assist clients.

Debt Collection Defense and Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

Thousands of people are sued every day across the country in an effort to collects debts from them for credit cards, retail charge cards, repossession and foreclosure deficiency balances, student loans, personal loans, homeowners association dues, and student loans, to name a few.  Most do nothing and have a judgment entered against them and are later surprised when they lose their bank accounts or wages.  When facing an effort to collect a debt, the WORST thing that you can do is nothing. Debt collectors assume that the consumer will do nothing.

Many lawyers tell those being sued that bankruptcy is their only option.  Bankruptcy, however, is an absolute last resort.  This office provides options other than bankruptcy or doing nothing.

1.  The creditor or debt collector may not be able to prove its case.  You do not owe a debt because someone too big to fail says that you do.  If they cannot prove that you owe it, then you do not owe it.  You may even be able to defeat their case based upon what they have told the credit bureaus.

2.  You may have counterclaims or defenses against the claim of the creditor or debt collector.  You may even be able to recover money from them for violations of the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and a wide range of other statutes too numerous to mention.  

3.  If you do not owe a debt, then it needs to be removed from your credit file with the credit bureaus.  Bankruptcy does not do that.  Defending against a debt may lead to its removal from your credit file.

This office can also help you even if you are not facing legal action.  Federal law contains broad prohibitions on what debt collectors can do in collecting debt.  Maryland and DC laws also have restrictions.  If you have an attorney representing you before a debt collector brings a legal action, then the debt collector may not sue you at all.  What is important is that the earlier you get an attorney on your side, the better your position will be and the cheaper the cost of representation.

Finally, you may be able to have the debt collector pay you money.  As noted, federal and state laws restrict what a debt collector can do.  A debt collector that violates one of those restrictions can be required to pay money simply because the debt collector has violated the law.  You can also recover for any injuries that the debt collector has done to you.  Finally, the debt collector can be required to pay the fees for your attorney.  The provisions of law that restrict what a debt collector can do are numerous.  If you are contacted by a debt collector, the best course of action is to seek the counsel of an attorney to determine whether the debt collector has violated the law.

Credit Report Inaccuracies and Privacy

Most credit reports today are inaccurate for a wide variety of reasons.  Identity theft is only one of the most prominent reasons that credit reports are inaccurate.  In fact some credit reports are self-contradictory:  they will say that the consumer is delinquent in paying a debt at the same time that they say that the creditor never loaned any money!  Federal and state laws also restrict who may look at your credit report.

The mechanism provided under federal law for correcting inaccurate credit reports is that the consumer disputes what is in his or her credit file and then the credit bureau must investigate that.  The “investigation” that occurs in practice is that the creditor’s computer simply verifies to the computer at the credit bureau that what is reported is accurate; in other words it is no investigation at all.  Accordingly the only way that inaccurate information can be corrected today is through legal action, and for that you need an attorney familiar with the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  If the credit bureau or creditor has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be able to have them pay you damages and to reimburse your attorney’s fees.

Abusive Lending

Federal and state laws contain restrictions on what lenders can and can’t do when evaluating an application or charging your account and billing.  If you have a dispute with a lender as to your account, or have been denied credit, then this office may be able to help you obtain not only a resolution of the dispute but payment by the lender of damages and your attorney’s fees.

Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention

A lender seeking to foreclose on your home does not necessarily have the right to do so.  This office can determine whether your lender has the right to foreclose and may be able stop the foreclosure or assist you in obtaining a modification. Home and Auto Disputes

Homeowners face a wide variety of legal issues ranging from those connected with home improvement contractors to those arising from disputes with homeowners’ associations.  Similarly those who purchase or own automobiles may have issues resulting from the purchase of a “lemon” or fraudulent repairs.  An experienced consumer attorney knows the restraints on home improvement contractors, homeowners associations, and automobile dealers and repair facilities and can assist you in recovering damages as well as your attorney’s fees.

Employment Law

Just as this office takes the side of consumers in their disputes with businesses so also this office represents employees in their disputes with employers. Such disputes can involve wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, failure to pay what is owed you, whistle-blower retaliation, and other aspects of any relationship in which an individual works for a living.  

Litigation

The range of disputes between human beings is as broad as the mind of man.  If you have a matter that you cannot resolve with the other party then this firm will act as a zealous advocate for your rights.  Again, the initial telephone consultation is free, so feel free to contact me to see what I can do for you.

Fees 

As noted at the outset, this office does not represent clients with an unlimited ability to pay legal fees.  At the same time, I do not accept cases on a pure contingency, in which the client pays nothing.  I receive a modest payment from the client at the outset, and this insures that the client has some investment in the case.  In those instances in which someone is seeking money from you, you may be certain that whatever that payment is will be less expensive than the alternative in which you are without representation.  In some cases the client will recover some or all of what he or she pays for the representation.

Selecting a Lawyer: Factors to Consider

1. Convincing a Judge.  Having a blog or an extensive presence on social media is great for visibility, but an even more important consideration in whether those who sit on the bench find a lawyer’s arguments compelling.  Does the lawyer have any published opinions in which the lawyer has persuaded a judge?  The published opinions in which this firm has acted as counsel speak for themselves.

2. Commitment to the Practice Area.  Does the lawyer you would hire for your case practice in a particular field because that is where the demand for lawyers is today or because it is the field in which he or she has chosen to develop expertise because of his or her interest and commitment irrespective of what the demand is?  Excellence in the practice of law, much like that in any other field, creates its own demand.  Was the lawyer who wants to help you with your mortgage today doing something else a year ago, and will he or she be doing something else a year from now?  Does the attorney that you would hire belong to professional organizations that are consistent with your interests?  This office has practiced in the fields of consumer rights, employment law, and litigation for a number of years.

3. Advocacy Constrained Only by Law.  What limits will the attorney place on his or her representation of you?  Will he sue the attorney suing you if that is in your interest or will professional courtesy prevent him or her from suing a colleague in the bar?  Will he or she do more for you than you can do for yourself?  Apart from what is required by law (statutes, court rules, or the rules of ethics), this office has only one interest - YOU.

4. Creativity.  Do you want someone whose approach to practice is like serving fast food - every case is the same - or someone who strives to find a winning approach, possibly one no one else has considered?  If you have debt issues, do you want someone whose first instinct is to file bankruptcy even if another alternative might be more beneficial for you?  The approach in this office is to maximize the client’s options instead of doing what is easiest or most familiar for the attorney.