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CalAttorney2
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Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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can a lawyer get your debt dismissed for unsecured debt because

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can a lawyer get your debt dismissed for unsecured debt because banks don't follow the law ? I was contacted by a lawyer referral service claiming that there lawyers could do this for me. the lawyers wanted $15000 for this service. is this a scam?

William B. Esq. :

Thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

This is most likely a scam. While banks may have a difficult time enforcing certain debts, there are very few instances where an entire loan can be forgiven as promised.

William B. Esq. :

An attorney is prohibited from soliciting clients for legal services - this type of conduct is likely outside the bounds of legal ethics.

Customer:

not the entire loan a partial dismissal

William B. Esq. :

The same rule applies.

William B. Esq. :

Are you currently in litigation over your loan?

William B. Esq. :

You should still not have been contacted unless you affirmatively asked an attorney for legal services or inquired into potential legal services.

Customer:

no its not a loan its unsecured credit card debt

William B. Esq. :

That is a type of loan.

Customer:

ok so think this is a scam because I called one of the lawyers and the confirmed that they worked with the lawyer referral service and that they could get my debt dismissed because banks don't comply with the law when they deal with consumers and that there are laws to protect consumers

William B. Esq. :

It most likely is - if you are interested in the rules of professional conduct for New York, there is an article regarding this issue here: http://www.nycbar.org/ethics/ethics-faq#advertise It includes what must be included in advertisements (no false promises), and what information must be included.

William B. Esq. :

If you have contacted an attorney that was represented to be part of this referral service directly and he denied being associated, that is a strong indicator of fraud or a scam. While this attorney may take action as his name is XXXXX XXXXX with this practice, you can also contact the NY state Attorney General's Office: http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint and the NY Bar Association: http://www.nycbar.org/get-legal-help/complaints-about-lawyers-aamp-judges- (you will need to contact them directly, the online services are designed specifically for complaints against attorneys or judges).

Customer:

they didn't deny they said they worked with the referral service

William B. Esq. :

Okay - this may change the nature of the complaint, but the service is still only permitted to promise "



  • statements that are reasonably likely to create an expectation about the results the lawyer can achieve;"

William B. Esq. :

As noted above - while it may happen in specific cases given very specific facts and issues, it is very difficult to be able to erase or dismiss any debt for regulatory violations. If this attorney believes that he can offer you services to reduce your debt, that is a specific legal analysis that he can offer on your behalf (usually it involves negotiations with the credit card company to encourage them to accept a reduced balance in exchange for you making a lump sum payment, or a specific payment plan, regulatory violations by the bank may be a bargaining point as there can be some limitations on the bank's ability to collect some or all of its fees and interest, sometimes there is a threat of bankruptcy that will motivate them further, but this is a strategy issue for the individual attorney to look at).

William B. Esq. :

There are laws that do protect consumers (usually usury laws in these cases), and it is possible that there are violations by your bank that would fit this category. Without knowing what regulatory violations they believe are at issue, it is difficult to fully analyze this type of claimed service.

Customer:

yes that is what they are saying they can do so this is not a scam?

William B. Esq. :

It may not be a scam, the law firm is offering services that may or may not be successful in resolving your debt. This type of litigation is not certain, and unless they have actually reviewed your file, I would be cautious prior to paying money for legal services unless they can give you a specific analysis of your case, and their opinion regarding possible outcomes - you cannot make an informed business decision as to whether or not it is worth spending another $15,000.00 for this law firm to litigate a minimal change in your credit card account, or if they really do believe your contract, and the credit card companies actions qualify you for consideration in the usury violations significant enough to warrant dismissing your debt. You can ask to meet with them, you can ask them to review your documents, you can ask them for a written opinion prior to agreeing to their representation (you may have to pay for these services), but if the law firm itself is backing up the claims made earlier, that creates a different issue and perhaps it is worthwhile. You can contact other firms and see what their opinion is as well.

Customer:

what type of law firms specialize in getting debt dismissed?

Customer:

so I can contact the right one

William B. Esq. :

Look for a civil litigation firm specializing in consumer finance protection, or credit card debt. You can find them on the internet using "Google" or "Yahoo" searches for these services, or alternatively, you can use these links below:


You can find attorneys on your State Bar Association’s website: (http://www.nycbar.org/get-legal-help/legal-referral-service); Martindale Hubble: (http://www.martindale.com/); or, on AVVO: (http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer).


 


To keep costs down, I recommend finding an attorney that is working in a small firm or as a solo practitioner. A newer attorney usually charges slightly less than a more experienced attorney, while the more experienced attorneys are usually a little more efficient. In the end, you need to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and it is okay to speak with more than one before retaining one.

Customer:

ok thank you for your help

William B. Esq. :

You are welcome. I hope that the firm and its promises are legitimate and that the lawyer can back up these claims, however, I would recommend speaking with at least one other firm prior to signing a contract if you are suspicious of them (you do not have to use their services simply because they solicited you).

Customer:

I will thanks again

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.


Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied.

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