Don’t let a debt collector take advantage of you.
Debt collectors often take advantage of the embarrassment, guilt or fear you feel when you are confronted with a debt that you either can’t pay, or don’t even owe. Sometimes the debt is legitimate. Sometimes it is not. Whether you owe all, some or none of the money, debt collectors are legally prohibited from lying, tricking, cheating or deceiving you. You may be falsely told that you have committed a crime or are about to be sued. If you have questions about whether a debt collector is breaking the law, we may be able to give you an answer.
My career began representing employees who were discriminated against, cheated out of wages, or wrongfully fired. For the last 25 years, I have been representing consumers who are being bullied, coerced or ripped off by debt collectors, unethical lawyers and others. I have litigated at all levels of state and federal courts, including the California Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. Mostly, the lawsuits have been class action lawsuits in federal courts around the country. In these cases we have succeeded in returning millions of dollars to consumers who had been harassed, tricked or trapped into paying money they did not owe.
In 2002 I relocated from California to San Juan County, Washington. In addition to representing consumers in class actions filed throughout the United States, I have defended individual consumers being sued, threatened or harassed by debt collectors in San Juan and adjacent counties.
In addition to challenging collection agency abuse, I have been representing tenants in class actions against property management companies that violate state and local law by charging illegal fees, especially “early termination fees” or other “add-on” fees. The law limits what a tenant has to pay if he or she leaves a lease early. You may have three months left on your lease, but if your apartment is re-rented after a month, you only owe the rent for the time your apartment was vacant. Some property management companies, however, charge you a penalty for the early termination. We are challenging these practices in Washington courts and advise you to contact this office if this has happened to you.