Posted Feb 28, 2011 10:58 pm CST
Depending on which side of the dispute you’re on, lawyers who sue creditors under statutes such as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are either knights fighting for often-violated consumer rights or opportunists pursuing profitable technical violations on behalf of deadbeats.
But there’s one thing that’s clear to all concerned in Colorado, which has a rapidly escalating docket of such cases: Attorney David Michael Larson brings a lot of them. Since 2007, he has brought two-thirds of the total 1,403 FDCPA suits filed, reports the Denver Post.
“The debt-buying industry is so broken and so bad, it enables some entrepreneurial lawyers to set up shop and do complaints without much thinking,” says Ira Rheingold of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. “But people usually don’t turn to a lawyer unless they really feel aggrieved.”
Others contend that Larson’s filings are something of a broken record, making cookie-cutter claims concerning alleged violations that really aren’t all that bad, the newspaper reports.
“The statute has to change, to show real harm and damage done,” says Michigan attorney Charity Olson, who defends FDCPA litigation. “Merely being annoyed should not be actionable. It’s a colossal instance of malpractice, and the consumers are no better off. It’s the latest in slip-and-fall.”
Larson himself declined to comment for the Post article.
ABA Journal: “Payback: Lawyers on Both Sides of Collection are Feeling Debt’s Sting”
ABAJournal.com: “Default Judgments Can Allow Creditors to Collect Debt That Was Never Owed”
ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Holds Boot Camps to Teach Secrets of Debt Collection Litigation”
ABAJournal.com: “NY Law Firm Has 14 Lawyers, But Files About 80,000 Suits a Year”