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The Other Boilerplate: How Some Corporations Can Obstruct Discovery In Consumer Lawsuits

Consumers who sue large corporations are always at a disadvantage. Among the many advantages the corporate defendant has is information.

Imagine in typical case. A large mortgage servicer demands money from a consumer. The consumer doesn’t owe the money. Months pass, and no matter how many times the consumer explains, the calls and the letters keep coming.

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What Should a Debt Collector Do When Calling a Vulnerable Consumer?

A study by British industry groups and academics recently set out best practices for debt collectors dealing with so-call vulnerable consumers. InsideARM, a US debt collectors’ trade publication has taken interest and encourages senior management to read it. Among the studies’ key findings were:

  1. 1 in 4 frontline debt collectors spoke to at least one consumer they “seriously believed” might commit suicide.
  2. Debt collectors need training concerning addiction and terminal illness – areas they (understandably) find difficult to discuss with consumers.
  3. Debt collecting businesses need to provide their staff with more support in identifying vulnerable consumers
  4. Ad hoc approaches to vulnerable consumers – such as temporarily ceasing collection to give the customer “breathing space” are not enough.

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DEBT BUYERS: Maryland’s Highest Volume Lawsuit Filers of 2017

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Maryland Judiciary Case Search provides a public window in the court system in Maryland. Case types, the names of parties, judgments and charges are all public information, displayed on case search. Through this window, we can see what the largest institutional users of the court system are up to. Here’s what six of the largest… Read More »DEBT BUYERS: Maryland’s Highest Volume Lawsuit Filers of 2017

Striking Boilerplate Defenses in Federal District Court

Plaintiffs in federal court must file long, detailed complaints to avoid motions to dismiss for failing to meet the Supreme Court’s Twombly/Iqbal pleading standards. So, it can be vexing when a corporate defendant files answer with boilerplate affirmative defenses. The Supreme Court has not addressed what standard defendants must meet when they plead, and the… Read More »Striking Boilerplate Defenses in Federal District Court

Identity Theft Defense: Are You A Victim of Identity Theft and Being Sued? Follow These 4 Steps

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Hundreds of businesses have your personal information these days. This includes sensitive information such as your birthday, address and even your social security number. On top of that, some of them even likely lost that information to third party hackers, increasing your risk of identity theft. Lately we’ve seen several cases of people who were… Read More »Identity Theft Defense: Are You A Victim of Identity Theft and Being Sued? Follow These 4 Steps

Human Rights Watch Still Right: Debt Buyers Rely On Our Courts

By far the largest users of Maryland’s civil courts are businesses collecting debts. Debt buyers are the largest plaintiffs of all. In 2016, a Human Rights Watch report noted that Debt buyers . . . rely on tax-funded state institutions—namely the court system—to secure much of their income. Leading debt buyers rank among the heaviest… Read More »Human Rights Watch Still Right: Debt Buyers Rely On Our Courts