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08

Jul 2016

Debt Collector Chad Steur Law Refuses to Pay Up

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy, Weekly Posts /

Debt Collector Chad Steur Law Refuses to Pay Up

Chad Steur Law, LLC, a debt collector, owes my client, Helen, $2280.58. So far, Steur refuses to pay up. 

Chad Steur, debt collector

Chad Steur is admitted to the practice of law in Utah and California. He hires debt collectors to collect debts in Virginia. So far, he hasn’t paid Helen’s judgment against him, here.

Before she came to see me, Helen was being harassed by a debt collector, calling for Chad Steur Law.  The collector told her he was calling from a law firm and they’d sue her if she didn’t pay up. That was a false threat, violating the FDCPA at 15 USC §1692e. (You might also call it a lie.) Chad Stuer is licensed to practice law only in Utah and California. He isn’t a lawyer in Virginia.

Frightened, Helen agree to let Steur take payments out of her bank account. Later, when she calmed down, she told them to stop. They took a payment anyway after she told them they were not allowed to. That’s another violation of 15 USC 1692e–taking an action that’s not legally allowed. (Taking money not authorized by law out of people’s bank accounts, happens fairly often with debt collectors. A very angry prosecutor might look at 18 USC §1334.)

Since he seems to be a respected lawyer, I contacted Steur last August, to see if he knew debt collectors were using his name. I didn’t get a reply. (I now see on his website that he hires debt collectors, in house and remote, to collect money using his name.)

We had a trial in March in the Courthouse in Manassas. Steur didn’t show up himself or send a Virginia lawyer–we won. The judge awarded Helen $2280.58. We’ve called and written Steur asking him to pay up. No answer so far.

(I’m primarily a bankruptcy lawyer.  But I hate it when credit bureaus and debt collectors do illegal stuff to my clients. So, for a bankruptcy lawyer, I’m quick to sue.)

 

 

 

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06

Mar 2016

Global Client Solutions Pays Us $1500.

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy /

Global Client Solutions got $61.50 from C H and pays up $1500.

C H, like many of my bankruptcy clients, tried to “settle” her debts before talking to a bankruptcy lawyer. She paid $1,133.48 to Global Client Solutions as part of a debt settlement plan, before she realized NONE of the money was going to settle her debts.

Global Client Solutions handled the “dedicated settlement account” Credit Advocates Law Firm set up for C H. Global, in fact, handles the settlement accounts for more than 400! different debt settlement operations.

Global Client Solutions logo

The CFPB says Global Client Solutions handles the “dedicated settlement accounts” for more than 400 debt settlement outfits. According to the FTC, if the debt settlement outfits are charging illegal fees, Global can’t help but notice.

We sued Global for $3400.44–three times the money she lost, under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Global replied they had only gotten $61.50 out of that $1,133.48–claiming “the remaining $1,071.98 was assessed by Credit Advocates Law Firm.”  (We’re suing Credit Advocates, too.)  

I pointed out that the Federal Trade Commission telemarketing rule says these debt settlement “law firms” cannot charge ANY fee until they have actually settled some debts. (The fact that they do is one reason these debt settlements rarely work. So much money goes to fees, there’s no money to pay the creditors, even if they want to settle.  Which they often don’t.)

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has gone after Global, saying that since their business is handling these debt settlement accounts, and their own records show they are paying “law firms” fees that are not yet earned, they are equally guilty in violating that law.  (You can read more about that, here.)

I repeated what the CFPB said, back to Global’s legal department.  (I also pointed out that we had sued them twice before.)

Then Global came back with a check for $1500. I got $750 of that, and C H got $750.  So C H has not quite gotten all her money back. Yet.

We are suing five other outfits who had their finger prints on this deal. I hope C H will end up getting back three times what she lost–that’s what Virginia law says she should get.

PS  So who else are we suing for C H?

Credit Advocates Law Firm, LLC is the name of the outfit that was taking money out of the Global account.  Their website is gone.  (I found them, though, on the Wayback machine, here.)

Credit Advocates said they were also the Law Firm of Adela Estopinan.  Adela Estopinan seems to be licensed as a lawyer in Florida.  

The people who put C H in touch with Credit Advocates used two names.  They called themselves Cornerstone Legal; and they also called themselves Fast Track Debt Relief.  Both of those still have active websites; and Cornerstone either copied or just took over the Credit Advocates website.  (See here, the SEO title for Cornerstone is Credit Advocates?!)

Referring people from one outfit to another seems to be standard in the debt settlement world.  I guessing because they each want to claim, like Global tried, that somebody else actually got the money.

They are all due to make their first court appearance in Fairfax on April 12, 2016.  I’ll let you know who shows up.

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07

Apr 2014

Recovery Services at 855-633-3603 Scams Ana

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy, Blog / No comments yet

Before she came to talk to me about bankruptcy, Ana was scammed out of $200 by Recovery Services.

“Recovery Services” called Ana from 855-633-3603 in January and told her she was in trouble for non-payment of a “check” in connection with a pay day loan.  The sheriff would bring her papers day after tomorrow unless she made payment arrangements.

They sent her to an internet site where she signed a payment agreement and made three payments.  (She paid them through Paypal.)

I had Ana call them from my office today to say she was not sending any more payments, and she needed to confirm their address to include them in the bankruptcy.  (I wanted to see what they would say.)

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Report scammers who use the internet to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center

A very authoritative-sounding lady told her that she could not file bankruptcy on them because she has a “sworn recorded phone call” and since she was breaking the agreement she could expect service of court papers between 8:00 and 3:00 on Wednesday.

All this is B.S. of course, but very convincing.  If I wasn’t right there with her, Ana might have caved in and sent another payment.

Instead, Ana is filing a complaint with the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

By the time you read this, these people will be using a different phone number and a different name.  But if you get something like this, don’t be scammed!

 

 

 

 

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NORTHERN VIRGINIA BANKRUPTCY LAW OFFICES