Tag Archive | Clay Morrow

Debt Collection Letters on Out of Statute Debts

Are you getting debt collection letters on very old debts?  All states have a statute of limitations on the collection of debts.  A statue of limitation is the time period within which you must be sued on a given claim. It is also called a time-barred debt. It is an affirmative defense, in other words, you must raise the defense in your answer to the collection complaint.  If you fail to raise the defense, then you are deemed to waive it. What is the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania? For a typical credit card case it is four (4) years, but maybe as short as three (3) years for Discover Bank and Capital One cards.

So, you get a collection letter on an account that you know is over the statute of limitations. What do you do?  You should keep both the letter and the envelope that it came in.  If the debt collector failed to tell you that it was out of statute or failed to tell you when the last payment was on the account, you may have a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).

The FDCPA is a law that governs the behavior of debt collectors. It is only applicable to consumer debts, not debts that you would have incurred in a business or for a business purpose. It is a remedial statute and will be construed broadly in order to give it the full effect. The Courts interpret the FDCPA not from your individual perspective, but from a much lower standard, the “least sophisticated consumer”. The law states that if the debt collector violates the FDCPA it must pay your reasonable attorney fees and costs and you are entitled to your actual damages and statutory damages.  The FDCPA was written to provide for attorney fees so that it would be enforced by private attorneys.  Without the fee shifting, the FDCPA would only be worth the paper it’s written upon.

A recent court decision helps to clarify that it is a violation of the FDCPA when a debt collector is collecting on a time-barred debt and used the word “settlement” in the letter.  The Court in McMahon v LVNV Funding, LLC, et al. held that even in the absence of a threat of litigation, the use of the word “settlement” would lead the least sophisticated consumer to believe that the debt was legally enforceable or collection litigation might still occur on the time-barred debt.

So, you if you have any collection letters on a debt you know is out of statute within the past one (1) year you should contact our office for a review of the letter.  You may email or fax a copy of the letter to us for a free no obligation review, making sure you have a cover sheet with your contact information.  Attorney Clay Morrow from our office will be glad to review your letter and advise as to the proper course of action.

Posted in Illegal Threats

Suing the Debt Collector

Today, March 30, 2010,  there was a fine article published on MSN money regarding suing  an abusive debt collector.  Founding partner at Morrow & Artim, Clay Morrow, was interviewed for the story.  Clay was able to discuss a recent victory where he sued a debt collector after the collector threatened to show up at our clients place of employment.   See the link here http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/YourCreditRating/sue-your-debt-collector.aspx

Posted in Illegal Threats

My New Partnership

As of January 1, 2010 I am pleased to announce that I have formed a new partnership with one of the best consumer attorneys in Pennsylvania, Clay Morrow.  Clay and I have been working together on cases for quite some time now and we decided that it was best to form a partnership that would better serve our clients.

Clay has been practicing consumer law in PA for over 20 years now and has seen just about everything that there is to see in that arena. Clay is a member of NACA, which is the National Association of Consumer Attorneys, and is quite active with that group.

Clay will handle all claims that are filed against debt collectors. These claims are often based upon illegal threats or activities that debt collectors engage in when they are trying to collect a debt from you. Clay bases most of these claims on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which provides consumers with an array of rights and protections. Clay is able to handle these claims on a no-cost basis, which means that you typically do not have to pay our firm a retainer to pursue an FDCPA claim against a debt collector.  Our firm will earn its fee and have it paid by the offending debt collector.

I will continue to handle the defense of collection agency and credit card lawsuits as I have in the past. What I have found in my experience in handling these matters is that there is often a violation of the FDCPA that is made either before the lawsuit is filed, or, in the lawsuit itself.

So in a nutshell, I will act as your shield in defending you, and Clay will act as your sword in attacking these violating debt collectors.

Posted in Other


Credit Card Lawsuits

If you are faced with a credit card lawsuit, whether its an original creditor or a junk debt buyer, contact my office at 412-823-8003 right away. We offer a free, no obligation review of any credit card based lawsuit that is filed in PA.

FDCPA Attorneys

Many Debt Collectors threaten people, that's a fact. Threats of wage garnishment, jail, fraud charges and contacting employers, friends and relatives happens every day to people just like you. The truth is that most of these threats are illegal. If a debt collector is threatening you, contact our office at 412-823-8003 for a free initial consultation.