Consumer Law

Lawyer Holds Boot Camps to Teach Secrets of Debt Collection Litigation

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A Minneapolis trial lawyer sees opportunity in debt collection litigation—and in teaching others how to pursue it.

Lawyer Peter Barry holds several debt collection “boot camps” each year to help other lawyers interested in pursuing litigation against debt collectors and the attorney fees that winning cases can bring, the New York Times reports.

Barry is charging about $2,500 a person for his next two-and-a-half-day seminar, scheduled for early May in San Francisco, the Times says. He and others in a small group of lawyers suing for violations of the Fair Debt Collections Act are apparently contributing to an uptick in the litigation.

The article cites statistics collected by WebRecon, which tracks litigation for debt collectors. Last year, 8,287 federal lawsuits cited violations of the debt collections act, an increase of 60 percent over the previous year, WebRecon says.

The numbers will likely continue to grow, as a result of a Supreme Court ruling last week. The decision held that debt collectors who violate the act aren’t shielded from liability if they misinterpret the legal requirements of the federal law. That’s a boon for Barry and other lawyers who pursue the litigation.

“I can’t sue every illegal debt collector in America, although I’d like to try,” Barry told the Times.

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