Thomas R. Breeden, P.C. Attorney At Law
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Manassas Consumer Protection Blog

Borrower rights in wage garnishment for student loan collection

It can be confusing – even threatening – when a student loan borrower gets a collection notice that their wages will be garnished to repay the educational loan. Anyone who receives such a garnishment notice – which would mean their employer might be required to send part of the borrower’s earnings to pay the student loan balance – should know that these notices are not always accurate, may misstate the law and are sometimes misleading.


Defenses to suits on mortgages for already-foreclosed property

What can a Virginia consumer do when – years after they went through foreclosure on their home because they could not make the payments – they now face a lawsuit on a deficiency balance on the mortgage, perhaps because they were underwater on the debt-to-equity ratio? Or when they unexpectedly face a demand to repay an old second mortgage on foreclosed property? 

Talk to an experienced consumer protection lawyer to understand the potential legal remedies in Virginia. The legal defenses to such lawsuits are complex and elusive in some cases, so legal counsel from an attorney with extensive understanding of Virginia consumer law can be very important.

Runaway medical bills haunt many Virginians

It is common knowledge that many people face insurmountable hospital and medical bills. Even with the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicaid, health insurance policies often include high deductibles and restrictive networks. Some families still cannot afford insurance and others face unexpected emergencies.

Readers may have seen Kaiser Health News’ recent investigative journalism into the collection practices of the University of Virginia Health System, referred to as UVA. KHN found that the health care provider has sued “thousands of patients” and engages regularly in collection activities like garnishing wages, seizing state tax refunds and placing liens on homes and other properties.

Equifax identity theft settlement could help 4 million Virginians

Identity theft can be a nightmare if the thief uses your personal identifying information to fraudulently rack up charges in your name, potentially harming your credit and forcing you to fight against those seeking to collect those wrongful debts. In addition, the thief could try to access your bank accounts and other assets.

The harmful ramifications of these kinds of fraud can be far reaching. As you fight with the credit bureaus to correct negative impact on your credit rating, those mistaken black marks against you that make you look like a credit risk could affect your ability to get a job, loan, lease, security clearance or college admission.

SCOTUS says FDCPA does not apply to nonjudicial foreclosure

We posted a blog previously about an important consumer protection case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. We explained that the issue was whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act — the main federal law extending legal protections against abusive debt collectors to consumers — applied to a Colorado law firm that had initiated a nonjudicial foreclosure.

In that post, we covered the issues in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP in detail as related to the FDCPA and whether a party is a debt collector that is governed by the Act’s provisions, including being subject to a suit for money damages by a consumer who was the victim of illegal collection practices.

Lawmakers take on phone spoofing of Virginia consumers

A senior citizen in Manassas picks up the phone to hear that her grandson is in jail and she needs to wire money to get him released. Another unsuspecting Virginian receives an unexpected call from his “Internet provider” asking for his credit card or bank account number to secure service to rid his computer of a virus. A Northern Virginia teen eagerly gives her Social Security number to the hotel chain that has called to offer her a free vacation.

All these are common fraudulent attempts to gain access to the consumers’ funds or credit accounts or to steal their identities.

Has a student loan servicer violated fair debt collection law?

Student loans are a serious concern for many Americans. According to Forbes, more than 44 million people owe about $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S.

This debt may feel overwhelming, and you could be struggling to make student loan payments. The good news is if you are struggling with payments, you are protected against some debt collection practices through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits certain predatory behaviors by debt collectors. Here is what you need to know.

Does the FDCPA protect consumers in non-judicial foreclosure?

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case this term which will determine whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to non-judicial home foreclosures. Specifically, the case will examine the role of law firms seeking non-judicial foreclosure of residential homes, and whether they are 'debt collectors' under the law.

Victimized Virginia consumer may sue both in fraud and under VCPA

We represent Virginia consumers harmed by deceitful merchants, service providers or suppliers in commercial transactions. In a recent post, we talked about a lawsuit in which a merchant harmed the plaintiff financially in an interior-design services transaction. In that case, the court found that the provider had violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act or VCPA when it billed for flawed or unauthorized furniture purchases and for price markups without permission. 

In addition to the VCPA violations, the court also held that the defendant had been in breach of contract and had engaged in the infliction of emotional distress, both claims under Virginia state law separate from the VCPA legislation. As we said, this is a good example of how an injured consumer can recover, if appropriate, under the VCPA and under other state-law claims for harm from the same transaction.

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Thomas R. Breeden, P.C.
10326 Lomond Drive
Manassas, VA 20109

Phone: 703-659-0188
Toll Free: 888-704-5385
Fax: 703-337-0441
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