Category: Debt


The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from making false claims about a debt, leading a federal judge to rule that two debt collection companies violated that law and would have to stand trial to determine the damages owed as a result of their failure to acknowledge a debtor’s dispute. Under […]

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LawtonCates convinces Wisconsin’s Court of Appeals to provide debtors with greater protections against creditor abuse, even after a default judgment was entered. A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals opinion in a case litigated by LawtonCates’ Attorney Briane Pagel expanded debtor protections against creditor abuse and overreach. In Creditbox v. Weathers, the Court of Appeals held that […]

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If you’ve been struggling with your student loans, there’s some potentially good news: The Biden Administration last year announced that it would try to change the way the Department of Education handles requests to discharge student loans, and those changes have resulted in student loans being eliminated for many borrowers. Most recently, a borrower discharged […]

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is asking a court to order Portfolio Recovery Associates to pay $24,000,000 in penalties and damages. The CFPB’s announcement on March 23, 2023, said it had caught Portfolio “red-handed” in 2015 committing numerous violations of law, and that Portfolio had not changed its practices. The CFPB said Portfolio has […]

Pile of envelopes with overdue utility bills isolated on white

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. […]

Pile of envelopes with overdue utility bills isolated on white

If you have made a payment to a debt collector and been charged a service fee, convenience fee, or other charge imposed for making the payment, you might have a right to sue the debt collector. “Pay to Pay” is the name generally given to charges that are often imposed by debt collectors when taking […]

Homeownership is part of the American Dream. Whether you like a peaceful rural setting or a bustling metropolis, you likely want a place to call your own. It’s a fine aspiration, but right now, home prices are skyrocketing. Even a worldwide pandemic hasn’t slowed the real estate market. In June 2020, the average price of […]

Attorney Briane Pagel answers frequently asked questions about debt and gives advice about the best way for debtors to handle their situations. Q: I have a lot of debt and it’s getting hard to handle. Everyone says I should call a bankruptcy lawyer. Is that a good idea? You should talk to a lawyer, but […]

Debtors often feel as though they have no choice but to give in to whatever it is debt collectors are demanding. Incessant phone calls, mailboxes full of demand letters, and, ultimately, collections lawsuits can make your days and nights miserable. But they don’t have to be. Even if you owe someone money, you have rights. If debt collectors […]

For five years now, the federal government has offered a program that attempts to erase student loans for those students who were defrauded by their schools. But for several years, the Department of Education under the previous administration gave minimal (if any) relief to borrowers. Under the new administration, the Department of Education has reversed […]