• Unlawful Trade Practices Claims • Consumer Fraud
• Unlawful Debt Collection Practices (Link) • Fair Credit Reporting Act Cases
• Bankruptcy Stay & Discharge Violations (Link)
Consumer law pertains to issues arising from retail transactions involving individuals and families. Consumer protection statutes exist at both the state and federal level. In many cases consumers are entitled to recover their costs, attorney’s fees, and statutory penalties in addition to their actual damages. This makes many smaller claims economically viable.
My first consumer law trial involved a client who purchased an exotic sports car over eBay from a North Carolina auto dealer. The sports car, which was represented to be in “mint” condition, was severely damaged and was barely held together with bonding glue when it arrived in Oregon. A jury awarded my client a full recovery.
Over the course of my career I have represented consumers in a wide variety of claims including consumer fraud, unfair trade practices, Fair Credit Reporting Act claims, unlawful debt collection practice claims [Link to UDCPA portion of site], and adversary proceedings addressing creditors’ violations of bankruptcy stays and discharge orders [Link to Bankruptcy Stay and Discharge part of site].
BANKRUPTCY LITIGATION: Bankruptcy Stay & Discharge Violations
Upon filing a bankruptcy a consumer is entitled to a “fresh start”. At the beginning of a bankruptcy the court issues a “stay” which generally prohibits debt collection while the bankruptcy is pending. At the conclusion of a successful bankruptcy the petitioner receives a bankruptcy “discharge” which prohibits collection of debts discharged by the bankruptcy. Both the bankruptcy stay and the bankruptcy discharge are court orders and are binding upon creditors. Creditors that violate these orders do so at their own peril. They may be liable for actual and statutory damages and may be held in contempt of court.