When it Comes to Consumer Defense, We’ve Got You Covered.
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Telephone Consumer Protection Act
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We counsel clients on TCPA compliance and defend cases involved in the collection of an outstanding debt with an accompanying claim based on either the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) or Florida Consumer Collection Protection Act (FCCPA). In the context of TCPA liability, we have argued what constitutes “prior express consent” challenged what constitutes an “auto-dialer.” We have negotiated favorable resolutions of the pending claims on behalf of clients. We also have litigated TCPA liability in the class action context for calls made to wrong numbers.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Even scrupulous and careful collectors can be sued for alleged violations of the FDCPA or similar state laws. To help our clients mitigate risk related to FDCPA, we counsel and defend collectors (such as financial institution lenders, creditor law firms, debt buyers, collection agencies and collection attorneys) or their insurance agencies to protect their rights as they collect valid debts in a fair way and in good faith. Our litigation practice offers a unique approach and perspective, coupled with a full roster of creditors’ rights and lender liability attorneys, along with TCPA and FCRA experience. We understand the intricacies of the FDCPA and comparable state laws, as well as the court decisions that have helped redefine them.
Compliance and Risk Management
A strong defense against alleged FDCPA violations begins before a lawsuit ever begins – with appropriate compliance and risk management programs. Collectors can protect themselves by proving that a violation of the FDCPA was an unintentional, “bona fide” error that occurred despite having procedures in place that should have prevented the error. Building a risk management plan into your policies and procedures can help demonstrate that the violation was unintentional.
Our attorneys will help draft or review policies, procedures, training materials and collection communications to ensure our clients are compliant. We’ll assist in developing consistent ways to respond to validation requests and pre-litigation communications, and preserve hard copy and electronically stored records, including collection notes, documents and recorded conversations with debtors.
A consumer has one year from the date of violation to file a lawsuit against the collector, though many threats do not materialize into a lawsuit. However, if you are served with a lawsuit, time is of the essence. Let us help gather information, inform your insurance company and determine whether to defend or settle the claim within the tight timeframe.
Part of our strategy involves evaluating relevant documents and evidence, the extent of alleged damages and the legal positions of the plaintiffs. Often, we can resolve matters quickly with settlements. However, if trial is an appropriate option and the desire of our clients, we will prepare a robust defense for the courtroom. Our attorneys have also had matters dismissed before they even proceed to trial.
Fair Credit Reporting Act & Employer Background Checks
We understand how important it is for employers to use background checks to prevent workplace problems, make knowledgeable hiring decisions and create a safe workplace. Our team helps advise employers about developing effective background check policies that comply with regulations, and also helps avoid costly and disruptive litigation whenever possible. We stand prepared to defend our clients in trial, though, when appropriate. We have significant experience in defending consumer fraud and false advertising claims, including numerous multi-state and nationwide class actions, in both state and federal courts. We also litigate claims under the consumer protection laws of many jurisdictions. We are also experienced in defending employment-related class actions, including FLSA collective actions, systemic employment discrimination claims and ERISA class actions.
We will help develop effective background check programs that minimize risk and comply with the FCRA, FACTA, EEOC and other regulations, as well as the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Our services to companies that perform and utilize background checks include:
- Advising employers about permissible use of background check information and about making reasoned disqualification decisions.
- Advising employers about mandatory notice procedures under the FCRA.
- Defending employers and consumer reporting agencies in FCRA claims and against challenges to their practices, procedures and policies.