What is a debt collector

What is a Debt Collector?

What is a Debt Collector in Georgia?

A “debt collector,” as defined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [“FDCPA”], is a person or a business that regularly collects debts owed to another. Still, this definition does not fully explain what a debt collector is.

Most first-party creditors [credit card company or bank] or lenders will try to collect debts themselves before resorting to writing it off. Typically, past-due accounts won’t be charged off until they’re 120 to 180 days late.

After a consumer defaults on a loan, the account is sent to a third-party debt collector or buyer [hereinafter referred to as “debt collector”]. The debt collector then attempts to collect on the debt, rather than the first-party creditor or lender to whom the debt is originally owed.

The collection agencies and attorneys who collect these debts as part of their regular course of business are considered debt collectors. Also included are businesses that buy past-due debts from creditors or other companies and then try to collect them.

The debt collection market is significant and affects many people. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [“CFPB”] states that around one-third of consumers with a credit bureau file reported contact from at least one debt collector.

The FDCPA is the main federal statute regulating the consumer debt collection market. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in certain types of behavior [such as misrepresentation or harassment] when seeking to collect debts from consumers and grants consumers the right to dispute or stop some communications about an alleged debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers personal, family, and household debts, including hospital bills, credit cards, and car loans.

If a debt collector is contacting you, you need to speak to a consumer’s rights lawyer.

Contact Diwan Law at 404-635-6883 for a free case evaluation.

violations of the fdcpa

Common Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Are you being harassed by debt collectors? Contact Diwan Law today at 404-635-6883 to schedule a free consultation to discuss how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [FDCPA] can help you.

When you fall behind on your debts, it seems like your creditors will stop at nothing to try to get you to make a payment. Fortunately, Federal law prohibits a wide range of unfair and abusive debt collection activities.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [FDCPA)] protects consumers from harassment and abusive behavior by debt collectors and collection law firms.

If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, consumers may pursue a lawsuit against the collector. If successful, the consumer is entitled to monetary damages, and the debt collector or collection law firm will also be responsible for the customer’s legal fees.

Typical Violations of the FDCPA:

  • Harassment;
  • Verbal abuse;
  • Continuing to call a consumer after the customer has told the debt collector to stop;
  • Writing or calling the consumer after being notified that a lawyer represents the customer;
  • Threatening to report the consumer to the IRS;
  • Threatening to have the consumer arrested if he or she does not pay the debt collector;
  • Threatening to file a lawsuit against the consumer when none is intended;
  • Calling a consumer’s cell phone without permission;
  • Placing personal information on an envelope;
  • Misrepresenting or inflating the amount of the debt;
  • Failing to disclose that the company is a debt collector;
  • Contacting a consumer after 9 pm or before 8 am;
  • Threatening to take legal action, or sue, on a time-barred or “stale” debt.

If you believe a debt collector has violated the FDCPA, you may be able to take legal action and recover monetary damages. Contact Diwan Law at 404-635-6883 for a free case evaluation.

 

Charged with Driving on a Suspended License

Driving on a Suspended License in Georgia

Have you been charged with driving on a suspended license? You want a skilled Georgia Suspended License Lawyer on your side.

Drivers get their licenses suspended for a variety of reasons. Even though the penalties are severe, many still choose to continue to drive with a suspended license.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

A first conviction for driving on a suspended license will result in between 2 days and 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The penalties for the second or third conviction within five years increase to between 10 days and 12 months in jail and a fine between $1,000.00 and $2,500.00.

Common Causes of Driver’s License Suspensions

  • Criminal Convictions-certain criminal convictions can result in license suspension or revocation. These include:
    • Driving Under the Influence [“DUI”] of drugs or alcohol
    • Driving without insurance
    • Vehicular homicide
  • Traffic Tickets and Point Suspensions
    • If you accumulate 15 or more points in 24 months, your driver’s license will be suspended.
    • I suggest that you review your record on the Department of Driver’s Services’ website.
  • Failing to Pay Child Support
  • An unsatisfied personal injury judgment against you may suspend your driver’s license or driving privilege. O.C.G.A. § 40-9-61

How to Avoid License Suspensions in Georgia

  • Do not drive without insurance.
  • Make sure to either go to court or pay your tickets. If you don’t, the Georgia Department of Driver Services has the authority to suspend your license.
  • Do not drive on a suspended license. If you do and are convicted, there will be an additional six months added to your suspension.

Seeking Help for Driving After Being Charged with Driving on a Suspended License

Always hire a lawyer! Diwan Law will help you think through your options and help you choose your best option.

Contact Diwan Law at 404-635-6883 today for a free consultation with a traffic ticket lawyer.

Debt Collection Defense Attorney: Are you being sued by Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding?

Are you being sued by Midland Credit Management?

Are you being sued by Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding?

Midland Credit Management (MCM) and Midland Funding lawsuits can be intimidating and financially devastating. You need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney, Diwan Law, on your side.

What is Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding?

Midland Credit Management (MCM) and Midland Funding lawsuits can be intimidating and financially devastating. You need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney, Diwan Law, on your side.

Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding are debt collection agencies. Debt collectors buy delinquent accounts from banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, hospitals, auto finance companies, and telecommunication companies.

When a person falls behind on credit card or car payments, he or she will receive a non-stop string of calls and letters from debt collectors, such as Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding.

If you ignore those calls and letters long enough, the debt collector will hire a lawyer who will send you an attorney collection letter.

A debt collection attorney’s collection letter is the last step before the collection agency files a lawsuit against an individual.

Many people think debt buyers, like Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding, prefer to avoid lawsuits because it requires them to pay lawyers and incur litigation costs. This is not true. If this were true, credit card lawsuits would be far less common than is the case.

What to do if you are being sued by Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding 

You need to respond quickly when a debt collection company serves you with a lawsuit. The worst response is to do nothing. If you do not respond to the lawsuit, the debt collector may get a default judgment against you. Besides obtaining a judgment for the principal, the debt collector may be awarded attorney’s fees for the collection of the judgment.

Armed with the default judgment, the debt collection company can garnish your wages and bank accounts. What’s worse is that the judgment continues to accrue interest as the balance remains unpaid.

Before accepting a judgment against you, speak with a Debt Defense Lawyer

A collections defense attorney will explain your rights and the legal process, such as how long you have to answer the lawsuit, the proven defenses, and the impact of a judgment.

Contact Diwan Law

Our law firm is experienced in debt collection law and has an established record of protecting consumer’s rights and explaining your options to you when a company like Midland Funding or Midland Credit Management sues you. No matter where you are in the collection process, you deserve to know your rights and what to expect. Give us a call at 404.635.6883.

Debt Collection Defense: Violations of the FDCPA

Consumer Rights Attorney: Violations of the FDCPA

If you have been one of the many victims of unlawful debt collection practices, then an experienced consumer rights attorney can protect your rights. Contact Diwan Law today at 404-635-6883 to schedule your consultation to discuss these violations of the FDCPA.

Protection from Unlawful Debt Collection Practices

Debt Collection agencies often employ persistent and overly aggressive tactics when attempting to collect outstanding debts. Many of these tactics are against the law.

Consumer protection statutes prohibit such behavior and allow for the recovery of damages and attorney fees.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [“FDCPA”] specifically prevents these abusive debt collection practices.

Violations of the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates debt collection practices. It prohibits debt collection companies from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices to collect debts from you.

Examples of the types of consumer debt covered by the FDCPA:

  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards debt
  • Medical debts
  • Car loans

Courts measure violations of the FDCPA by an objective standard called the “least sophisticated consumer” standard. See Jeter v Credit Bureau Inc., 754 F.2d 907, 913 (11th Cir., 1985).

FDCPA Restrictions on communications by debt collectors with Consumers when collecting a debt

  • Time and placedebt collectors may not contact you at an unusual time or place. [Generally speaking, they are prohibited from contacting consumers before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.]
  • Harassment- Debt collectors may not harass you over the phone or through any other form of contact.
  • Representation by an attorney- A debt collector may not contact you if a lawyer is representing you.

Examples of FDCPA violations in collections lawsuits

  • Prosecuting a Lawsuit Against A Consumer After the Statute of Limitations Expires

Continuing to prosecute a time-barred claim is a violation of the FDCPA’s prohibition against making false and misleading claims about the debt’s legal status. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692e.

  • False and Misleading Statements About the Amount Owed

It is a violation of the FDCPA’s to file a lawsuit against a consumer for more than is owed. This action is a direct violation of the FDCPA’s prohibition against false or misleading statements. 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.

If you believe that an abusive debt collector has violated your consumer rights, then Diwan Law can help you. Contact us today at 404-635-6883 to learn more.

Garnishment Lawyer: Wage Garnishment or Continuing Garnishment

Garnishment Lawyer: Wage Garnishment

Atlanta Wage Garnishment Attorney

As an experienced wage garnishment lawyer, Diwan Law can guide your case through the garnishment process.

What is a wage garnishment?

Garnishment is a legal method by which a creditor may recoup a debt owed by an individual or company.

After a creditor, such as a credit card company, obtains a judgment against a customer, the debt collector can initiate a separate lawsuit against a third party [“the garnishee”] that owes money or property to the individual.

The garnishee in a wage garnishment is usually an employer.

Note: Recent changes to the garnishment statute allow creditors to file continuing garnishments against not only a judgment debtor’s employer, but also against a person or entity “under periodic obligations for payment” to the judgment debtor/defendant. This expands the garnishee target list for collection to better fit the current “gig” economy.

Once served with the garnishment action, the garnishee must retain a portion of the employee’s earnings each paycheck to satisfy the garnishment.

Under Georgia law, a garnishee can only withhold up to twenty-five percent of the employee’s disposable earnings for that week.

Until recently, wage garnishment actions had a relatively short shelf life in that garnishees were only obligated to withhold the earnings from each of the employee’s paychecks for a total period of 179 days [roughly 6 months]. A recent amendment to the garnishment statute expanded that time period to 1,095 days (3 years).

Wage Garnishment Defenses

Both federal and Georgia laws govern garnishment actions and protect consumers from excessive withholdings.

An experienced wage garnishment defense attorney can assert several defenses on behalf of a customer. The most common defenses are:

  • The judgment has expired;
  • Federal and Georgia law exempts the funds from wage garnishment;
  • The judgment was satisfied [paid];
  • The consumer filed for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy;
  • The plaintiff failed to follow proper procedure in the garnishment action.

Diwan law can guide your case through the garnishment process and be your lawyer to stop the garnishment.

Contact Diwan Law, your wage garnishment lawyer, at 404.635.6883 to discuss your case today.

Atlanta Street Racing

Atlanta Illegal Street Racing

Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill on Monday that attempts to stem the tide of illegal street racing in Atlanta. According to the AJC, there is a troubling trend of street racing that has led to an increasing number of complaints in Atlanta since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is part of a larger effort across Georgia to suppress illegal street racing, which could encompass a wide range of crimes: dangerous driving in parking lots, chases down highways or quiet roads, stunts in parking decks or busy intersections in front of large crowds.

Atlanta Illegal Street Racing

Racing is already illegal under Georgia law. As outlined in O.C.G.A. (b) § 40-6-186, “[n]o person shall drive any vehicle on a highway in this state in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record, and no person shall in any manner participate in any such race, competition of speed, contest of speed, or test or exhibition of speed.”

Under this code section, anyone convicted of this violation is guilty of a misdemeanor, which the court may impose a sentence that includes a fine of up to $1,000.00, up to 12 months in jail, or both.

The Bill seeks to amend the Georgia code by making it illegal for “[a]ny person who knowingly promotes or organizes an exhibition of illegal drag racing, in violation of Code Section 40-6-186, or of laying drags, in violation of Code Section 40-6-251. If found guilty, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

The Bill also calls for the driver’s license of any person convicted of reckless stunt driving to be suspended.

Contact an experienced Atlanta traffic lawyer to discuss this and all your rights. Diwan Law will appear in court on your behalf and develop a strategic defense to your charges.

As an experienced traffic ticket attorney, Diwan law can guide your case through Atlanta Municipal Court or the Fulton County State Court system.

Call Diwan Law at 404.635.6883 to discuss your case today.

False Arrest

False Arrest Attorney

Atlanta False Arrest Lawyer

Have you been a victim of false arrest? Speak with a false arrest attorney immediately about your rights. Contact Diwan Law, 404-635-6883, for a free consultation!

A false arrest can occur with or without police involvement. Many false arrest claims involve private security.

Retail stores, supermarkets, hotels, apartments, bars, and many other businesses and venues hire private security firms to monitor their premises. Unfortunately, security officers and law enforcement professionals sometimes overstep their authority and restrain people in a manner that violates a person’s civil rights.

A FALSE ARREST ATTORNEY CAN HELP PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

What is False Arrest?

False arrest is the restraint or detention by one person of another without lawful justification for any length of time. It can occur any time one person restrains another against his or her will or takes another into custody without consent or without “probable cause.”

By definition, probable cause is the existence of such facts and circumstances as would lead one to the reasonable belief that a person has committed the crime for which he or she has been charged.

Lack of probable cause exists when the circumstances are such as to satisfy a reasonable person that the accuser had no ground for proceeding but his desire to injure the accused.

Civil Lawsuits for False Arrest

Right of civil action for false arrest exists if the arrest was made maliciously, under the process of law, and without probable cause.

One can institute a lawsuit for damages stemming from a false arrest. Damages can include such things as loss of salary or injury to reputation.

If you have been falsely arrested in Georgia, the Atlanta false arrest attorney at Diwan Law, LLC can help you receive compensation for physical harm, mental trauma, financial losses, and any other consequences of a false arrest.

Please contact the Georgia false arrest lawyer at Diwan Law, LLC to discuss your case. Your consultation is free.

GEORGIA USED CAR DEALER FRAUD ATTORNEY

At Diwan Law, we take consumer rights violations very seriously and work with individuals throughout Atlanta and the surrounding communities who have been victims of used car dealer fraud.

Used Car Dealer Fraud

Buying a used car in Georgia can be a great and exhilarating experience, but it can quickly turn into a headache if it turns out that the car dealer acted fraudulently. Fortunately, state and federal laws protect consumers from dealerships that take advantage of their customers.

Car purchases and leases are complicated transactions with which most Atlanta consumers have little experience. They involve Georgia titling and registration laws, trade-ins, financing, leasing, insurance, options, and other fees. Car dealers are well-versed in these transactions and sometimes take advantage of consumers.

A surprising number of Georgia new and used car sales involve auto dealer fraud, deception, and unfair business practices.

Common Auto Dealer Scams 

Odometer Fraud: is a type of auto sales fraud that involves manipulating the odometer, so that it shows a number that is less than the actual mileage of the automobile.

“Yo-Yo Financing”: allowing a customer to leave the dealership with a vehicle under the mistaken belief that a loan application is approved and then having the consumer return to sign for a different, more expensive loan; and backdating new financing documents to the original purchase date.

Auto Fraud Involving Wrecked & Salvaged Autos: Used car dealers sell used cars that have been wrecked or salvaged without disclosing this to the buyer. If a car is in a wreck, even if it is adequately repaired, the automobile is worthless, and any equity the consumer had in the vehicle is gone.

“Bait and Switch” scheme: Advertising a vehicle for a specific amount and then telling consumers that the published deal is no longer being offered and offering to sell the consumer the same car at an increased price.

Most times, customers would not have purchased the vehicle had the used car dealer not made representations about the mileage or quality and condition. The used auto dealer’s failure to disclose the condition of the car is a direct violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act.

If this happens to you, under Georgia and Federal laws, you may be entitled to recover damages and compensation from the used car dealer.

If you have been a victim of car dealer fraud or car repair fraud, Diwan Law may be able to help.

Contact an experienced Atlanta Used Car Dealer Fraud Attorney, 404-635-6883, to discuss your case.