Category Archives:Collections

Leikin Ingber and Winters PC Lawsuit? We Can Help

Leikin Ingber and Winters PC With Debt Collection, Communication Can Cost You

Are you currently being pursued in a debt collection action? Communication between the debt collection agency and yourself can mean more than you think. Collections agency and debt collections law firms are regularly trying to navigate their way around the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act. The FDCPA is a federal law that prevents collections agencies from using nefarious methods to collect debts from their targets. While the law is a good step in consumer advocacy, organizations still find ways to use unfair practices in pursuing your current or future income. Part of the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt”. However, what constitutes a false, deceptive, or misleading representation is not always obvious. Further, when a communication is in connection with the collection of debt can vary as well.

If you are having trouble with a debt collector, or have been sued by a law firm such as Leikin Ingber and Winters PC, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message

In the past Leikin Ingber and Winters PC has represented clients such as St. John’s Hospital, Flagstar Bank, Beaumont Hospitals, and other regional and national banks and hospitals,even insurance providers they are located in Southfield Michigan, and we have dealt with them them numerous times over the years.

If you have an outstanding debt, have been harassed by collections agencies, contacted by illegitimate debt collections scams, or pursued by a law firm such as Leikin Ingber and Winters PC, the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are here to fight for you. Please contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 or send us a private message.

Sued by Stillman Law Office in Michigan? We can help

Stillman Law Sued by Stillman Law Office in Michigan? We can help

If you owe a creditor money, they have various ways they can go about collecting a debt, some more friendly to the debtor than others. But the most direct avenue a creditor can use to collect debt is to hire a aggressive law firm or debt collection agency. The Stillman Law Office is just that, and once hired, they will use all of their resources to collect what they can from you. Law offices and debt collections agencies regularly add interest or fees on to your debt to make their collections more profitable. These fees often go unnoticed by their targets, who typically just have a sincere interest in settling their debts, and don’t have the resources to accurately tabulate interest. If the Stillman Law Office, or any debt collector has used these practices against you, then they could be in violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and we can help. If you are having trouble with a debt collector or have been sued by a law firm such as the Stillman Law Office, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The Stillman Law Office, and many debt collection agencies use of state of the art ‘collection partner’ software system, which is tailored specifically to their needs of tracking accounts and handling all phases of the collection. This is a particularly scary aspect of being a target of a collection agency, as they are usually working with a business that has a wealth of personal information about you that the agency can use to find and collect from you. This information generally includes birthdays, social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. Further, the Stillman Law Office promises fast recovery to their clients in the form of law suits, judgments, attachments, repossessions, and both wage and bank garnishments.

The personal information that agencies have is important to keep in mind because not all debt collection communications are necessarily legitimate. Different from the legitimate debt collection actions taken by action creditors, debt collection scams are increasingly common. Consumers have reported frightening phone calls demanding payment of outstanding payday or even check cashing loans. Sometimes these callers claim to be a representative of a law firm, or even the government, and probably won’t abide by the rules of the FDCPA.

Dealing with debt collectors, legitimate or otherwise, can be a draining and painful experience. If you are in this position the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are here to fight for you.

If you have outstanding debt, have been harassed by a debt collection agency or contacted by a law firm such the Stillman Law Office, please contact us at (248) 398-7100 or send us a private message.

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Sued by Ally Financial, Inc.?

Escaping A CrisisSued by Ally Financial, Inc.? Do you owe money for unpaid car, credit card, or various loans? Have you fallen behind on your payments? Many individuals find themselves in a difficult situation, unable to pay off their loans, due to unforeseen circumstances such as the loss of a job. In these instances, consumers should be aware of all options available in order to protect themselves in the event that the creditor takes legal action against them.

If you have been sued by a financial institution such as Ally Financial, Inc. or have fallen behind on loan payments there are a few things you should know. Ally Financial, Inc., like many companies, is multi-faceted and includes the subsidiary of Ally Bank. This company issues a number of loans and may take action to collect them on its own behalf. In some instances the companies are willing to settle. An experienced debt defense attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Further, some companies may exercise abusive debt collection behavior so it is important to be informed of what is not permitted behavior.

Alternatively, if you have not been sued by your creditor, you should know that you do not necessarily have to wait until the company makes the first move. In fact, it may be more advantageous to consult a debt defense attorney before that point in order to discuss your options.

The collections process can be challenging to undergo. If a creditor such as Ally Financial, Inc. has sued you or if you’ve fallen behind on your payments and would like a free consultation, please contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 or contact us with a private message.

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The Right to Be Forgotten and Search Engines

iStock_000036536866SmallThe Right to Be Forgotten and Search Engines:

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, capitalizes on human curiosity by connecting users to seemingly infinite amounts of information. Though this may be incredibly helpful for users, it may also be detrimental to individuals about whom information is posted. The Court of Justice of the European Union sought to prevent detriment to these individuals in its May 13, 2014 decision to uphold Directive 95/46/EC, a European law protecting data on the basis of privacy, in Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v AEPD. This case concerned Google-generated links to a newspaper article about the repossession of a Spanish man’s home. The ruling stated that Google must remove links to data that is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed” from the search results it posts after a query. In essence, this prohibits Google from posting links to information that is dated or irrelevant.

This ruling pits the right to privacy against freedom of information and functionally limits users’ ability to access certain types of information. This ruling has been heralded by individuals as a landmark for the right to privacy, colloquially referred to as the “right to be forgotten”. Conversely, many consider this a form of censorship.

Google has expressed concern about complying with this ruling and about the limiting effect on the dissemination of information.

In an effort to comply, Google posted a web form that allows European citizens to request the removal of a link. Thousands of Europeans have filed requests for links to be taken down.

Whether you agree with this holding on the basis of privacy or oppose it on the basis of freedom of information, the holding is not controlling in the United States. Though it is not binding, it may be a sign of issues to come in U.S. courts regarding the right to privacy in this heavily internet-reliant nation.  Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

how is judgment interest calculated in Michigan?

Interest Rate BackgroundHow is Judgment Interest Calculated in Michigan?

Michigan has specific rules regarding the calculation of damages in civil cases to ensure that Plaintiffs are adequately compensated. Under MCL 600.6013(8), you are entitled to receive interest on a money judgment recovered in a civil action at 6-month intervals from the date of filing at a rate of interest equal to 1% plus the average interest rate paid at auctions of 5-year United States treasury notes during the 6 months immediately preceding July 1 and January 1, compounded annually. Interest under this subsection is calculated on the entire amount of the money judgment, including attorney fees and other costs. The inclusion of attorney fees in the calculation is particularly beneficial to a prevailing plaintiff. A table of historical interest rates can be found below.

The basic rule outlined above may be modified in instances where the complaint is based on a written instrument that identifies an interest rate to be used in the calculation of damages. Under MCL 600.6013(5)-(7), complaints filed on or after July 1, 2002 that are based on a written instrument with a specified interest rate, the interest is calculated from the date of filing the complaint to the date of satisfaction of the judgment at the rate specified in the instrument if the rate was legal at the time the instrument was executed. In the case of complaints filed on or after January 1, 1987 but before July 1, 2002 that are based on a written instrument, the interest is calculated from the date of filing the complaint to the date of satisfaction of the judgment at the rate of 12% per year compounded annually, unless the instrument has a higher rate of interest. In that case, interest shall be calculated at the rate specified in the instrument if the rate was legal at the time the instrument was executed. However in both of these instances the rate may not exceed 13% per year compounded annually after the date judgment is entered.

These rules apply only to complaints filed on or after January 1, 1987. The interest rates for money judgments filed before that date are governed by MCL 600.6013 (2)-(4). In all of these situations the date of filing is central to the calculation. It is important to note that interest does not accrue on future damages from the date of filing the complaint to the date of entry of the judgment and the amount of allowable interest may be different in settlement and medical malpractice scenarios under MCL 600.6013(1) and MCL 600.6013 (9)-(13).

If you have questions about a judgment, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We have handled hundreds of cases in Metro-Detroit, granting us an extensive knowledge of the courts in this area. For more information about traffic law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

iStock_000008541367SmallThe Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is a key piece of legislation that protects consumers from inappropriate debt collection behavior. It is not uncommon for companies to utilize extreme tactics in order to attempt to collect sums of money. So where does the statute draw the line between acceptable debt collection behavior and those that are unacceptable? The following are examples of behaviors the FDCPA has deemed illegitimate.

  • Under Section 805, the debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt at any unusual time or place. The general rule the FDCPA establishes is that the window for communication is between 8 am and 9 pm. Additionally, if you have hired an attorney to represent you in regard to the debt collection, the debt collector is not permitted to communicate with you unless your attorney is not responding.
  • Further, under Section 806, a debt collector may not engage in any conduct which consequentially harasses, oppresses or abuses any person in connection with the collection of a debt. This includes violent threats, using obscene or profane language, and repeatedly calling with the intent to annoy, abuse or harass.
  • There are other illegal behaviors that are more subtle including making false, deceptive or misleading representations in connection with the collection of debt such as falsely representing the amount of debt, implying that an individual is an attorney when they are not, and threatening legal action that cannot be taken.

If a debt collector fails to comply with this law, they are liable for the actual damages sustained as a result of their breach and other damages up to $1,000.00. As a consumer, it is important to know your rights and defend them when they are infringed upon. If a debt collector has employed any of the tactics above or engaged in other questionable conduct, contact the attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 or send us a private message for more information about what to do next.

 

Michigan Credit Reporting Error Repair Attorneys

iStock_000019102849SmallMichigan Credit Reporting Error Repair Attorneys:

Checking your credit report is one of the most important things you can do as a credit consumer.  The three main credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, are responsible for maintaining credit files of millions of Americans.  Some of these credit files have errors.  In fact, the FTC conducted a study of the U.S. credit reporting industry in 2012 which revealed that 5% of consumers had significant errors on at least one of their three credit reports.  This study highlighted the importance of regularly checking your credit report for errors.  These errors can lead to lower credit scores.  Lower scores have a serious impact on your wallet.

So how can you get your credit report?  The Federal Credit Reporting Act dictates that each of the three main credit reporting agencies must provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report once a year, upon request.  To order your credit report, call 1-877-322-8228 or visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a printable order form.  You may also purchase a copy of your report by contacting the agencies individually.

What do mistakes look like?  Some agencies may report  mortgages that were the subject of short sales as foreclosures, include debts that were paid off, report negative factors that had to do with documented identity theft that were out of your control, or even post debts that belong to someone else.

What should you do if you find a mistake?  First, you should write a letter to dispute the mistake with the credit agency that reported it.  Some individuals successfully proceed with the dispute process.  However, many consumers find that credit agencies don’t always resolve these situations or even respond to communications.  These are the individuals that may need to take legal action in order for the agency to fix the mistake.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides remedies to consumers that have mistakes on their credit report.  Consumers may, through legal action, recover actual damages that resulted from the mistake such as economic harm and emotional distress and punitive or statutory damages in some situations.  If you have found a mistake and are having a difficult time with a credit reporting agency, call the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC.  We will help you take the steps necessary to resolve the situation.  Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

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Michigan Spot Delivery and Automobile Dealer Fraud Attorneys / Spot Delivery and Yo-Yo Financing

Yo-Yo FinancingMichigan Spot Delivery and Automobile Dealer Fraud Attorneys / Spot Delivery and Yo-Yo Financing:

Purchasing a car is a very exciting life event.  You find a match, sign the paperwork, make a down-payment and get the keys.  Most consumers would assume that’s the end of the transaction but a certain practice conducted by some dealerships may make it possible for the dealership to reclaim the vehicle at a later date and time.  This practice is called Spot Delivery.  This is when a car dealership will tell a customer that they have been approved for financing and complete the paperwork and sale without knowing if a finance company will actually purchase the customer’s credit contract.  The dealership will give the customer a temporary registration number and if a finance company will not purchase the customer’s credit contract, then the dealership may decide to reclaim the vehicle.  This is called Yo-Yo financing.  The dealership may employ deceptive tactics to regain possession of the property including luring customers in under false pretenses such as the opportunity to receive free services.  Sometimes the dealership will even refuse to return the down payment.

Not only is Spot Delivery unethical but this is considered an illegal practice in Michigan.  Customers that have suffered from this practice may recover the value of the vehicle and sometimes other damages under the Truth In Lending Act and the Michigan Credit Reform Act.

If you have been the victim of Spot Delivery or Yo-Yo Financing, call the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC.  We are experienced attorneys that will fight for your rights.  Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 now for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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Revocation of Paternity Act, Changes and New Developments

Revocation of Paternity Act, Changes and New Developments:Revocation of Paternity Act, Changes and New Developments:

The revocation of paternity act was enacted and became immediately effective on June 12, 2012. The new procedure for revoking paternity allows for mothers, alleged fathers, or affiliated fathers to bring an action to revoke a determination of paternity. Each potential petitioner has to satisfy different tests.

The mother may file under one of two options. Under the first option, the mother must identify the alleged father by name and the presumed father. The alleged father and the mother must have at some time mutually and openly acknowledged a biological relationship between the alleged father, AND the action must be filed before the child is three years old. Under the second option, the mother must identify the alleged father by name. Additionally, where the presumed father has the ability to pay and without good cause, either

  • the presumed father has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for two years;  or
  • has failed to substantially comply with a support order for two years; or
  • the child is less than three years of age and the presumed father lives separately and apart from the child.

These are fairly restrictive requirements.

The requirements for a presumed father are more lenient. A presumed father is a man who is presumed to be the child’s father by virtue of his marriage to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth. MCL 722.1433(4). In order to bring a Petition, a presumed father may file to exclude a child from his marriage if he files before the child turns three, or if he raises the issue in a divorce or separate maintenance action between the presumed father and the mother.

An alleged father is a man who could have fathered a child. MCL 722.1433(3). For an alleged father to file to exclude a child from a marriage, he must do so under one of three options.

  • The alleged father must show he did not know or have reason to know that the mother was married at the time of conceptions, and the presumed father, alleged father, and mother at one time mutually and openly acknowledged a biological relationship between the alleged father and the child, and the child is not yet three, and the child’s paternity is or will be determined by a court; or
  • The alleged father must show that he did not know or have reason to know that the mother was married at the time of conception and either
    1. The presumed father, having the ability to support the child has failed and neglected without good cause to provide regular and substantial support for two years
    2. Or has failed to substantially comply with a support order for two years; or
    3. The child is less than three, and the presumed father lives separately from the child, and the child’s paternity is or will be established by court.

One interesting fact is that a judgment under the RPA does not relieve a man from a prior support obligation. MCL 722.1443(3). This is consistent with the fact that you cannot retroactively contest child support, one may only contest it going forward.

One outstanding issue yet to be worked out by the courts is the future of Serafin motions. While the RPA was enacted in June 2012, so portions of it did not become active until June 12, 2014. As such, the common law relief of a Serafin motion, based on the case Serafin v Serfin, may no longer be available after that time. These motions allowed for the presumption of legitimacy of marriage to be rebutted based on clear and convincing evidence. Some have argued this relief was intended to be concurrent despite the fact that the section of the RPA provides a different remedy for the same problem. This has yet to be clarified by courts.

If you or a family member are facing an issue with respect to paternity, it is important to hire an experienced attorney who can navigate the ever changing contours of this complex law. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.

Sued by Weber & Olcese, PLC in Michigan?

iStock_000032706966SmallHave you been contacted by Weber & Olcese, PLC about an outstanding debt?  If so, this means that a debt collector has retained this law firm in order to help them collect this sum of money from you.  Typically this happens when an individual has credit card debt or unpaid student or personal loans.   Depending on your particular situation, your debt or “portfolio” may have changed hands several times from the original debtor to subsequent collectors.

When a firm such as Weber & Olcese, PLC is involved, their job is to do everything they can to recover these funds for their client, the owner of your debt.  This means they may have taken legal action or may in the future.  If you have been contacted by Weber & Olcese, PLC or a debt collector, it is in your best interest to consider retaining your own legal counsel to defend your rights.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are experts in debt collection cases.  Our expertise stems from years working with debt collectors and defending clients in cases involving creditors, debt collection agencies and firms such as Weber & Olcese, PLC.  We have handled many cases in cities such as Troy, Novi, and Madison Heights. We have gained detailed knowledge about the various options that may be available to you.  Some firms won’t look beyond bankruptcy but we pride ourselves on giving each case individualized attention and finding the correct solution for each client’s situation.  If you have been contacted by Weber & Olcese, PLC or have outstanding debt, contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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