The battle between debtors and debt collectors has been raging for years. In recent times, law changes have given debtors a fighting chance. Even though these law changes haven’t shifted the odds to favor debtors, the balance of power has shifted enough that desperate debt collectors have resorted to committing offenses that violate consumer protection law.
Federal and state consumer protection laws govern debt collectors, and violations of those laws can allow a debtor to avoid paying a debt, recover damages, or both. In the past, many cases filed by debtors against debt collectors were filed in federal court, because the primary law debtors relied on was the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). However, in recent years, federal courts have limited debtors’ ability to sue debt collectors in federal court, so debtors’ lawyers have started filing lawsuits in state court instead.
Debtors Finding Success Suing Debt Collectors in State Court
In three recent cases, (Masnak v. Option Solutions, Currier v. Lawgix Laws LLC, and Suxstorf v. Portfolio Recovery Associates) the debtors sued debt collectors in state court. In each case, the debt collector tried to “remove” the case to federal court. And in each case, the debt collector failed in that effort. All three times, the district court ordered the debt collector to pay the attorney fees the debtor incurred in fighting the removal, holding that, “It was objectively unreasonable for the defendant to remove the case to federal court.” In addition, in each instance, the federal court also sent the case back to state court.
Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with Our Experienced Wisconsin Consumer Protection Attorneys
At Lawton & Cates, we’ve been helping debtors in Madison, Jefferson, and throughout Wisconsin since 1958. Our legal team handles a wide range of consumer protection matters. As our reviews and case results prove, protecting our clients’ rights and securing the most favorable outcomes possible for their situations have always been our top priorities.
If you’ve been the victim of fraud or are being harassed by debt collectors, contact Lawton & Cates today to discuss the problem with one of our experienced consumer protection lawyers.