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Attorney incurring costs illegally?

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Catalina_

Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

(Sorry this is so long.) A debt buyer/collection service sued me and filed a default judgment in 2010.

I believe their attorney (whose office address is the same as the collection service) is engaged in collection abuse as well as charging several illegal fees to my judgment. One of the things he has done is twice schedule a debtor asset hearing, have me served, and then cancel for no reason. This last week he canceled two days before the hearing and I was not notified by mail until the day after the hearing was to take place. So of course I showed up.

This adds several charges on to the amount of the judgment, even though the attorney canceled. There are other unexplained charges on the memorandums of credits, but I am just beginning to look into those.

In addition to the fees piling up, I believe this is a scare tactic because a summons is served each time, which is pretty disturbing. Then there is anticipating this unpleasant hearing. It is very stressful.

In all fairness, the instances of scheduling and canceling the debtors assets hearings are years apart but I believe this is something this attorney does regularly. In my brief (so far) research, I saw found case (same collection agency, same attorney) where the asset hearing was scheduled and canceled by the attorney. I think he has no intention of attending the hearings.

Does this sound like illegal fee charging and/or FDCPA violation for scare tactics?

Thank you
 


quincy

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

(Sorry this is so long.) A debt buyer/collection service sued me and filed a default judgment in 2010.

I believe their attorney (whose office address is the same as the collection service) is engaged in collection abuse as well as charging several illegal fees to my judgment. One of the things he has done is twice schedule a debtor asset hearing, have me served, and then cancel for no reason. This last week he canceled two days before the hearing and I was not notified by mail until the day after the hearing was to take place. So of course I showed up.

This adds several charges on to the amount of the judgment, even though the attorney canceled. There are other unexplained charges on the memorandums of credits, but I am just beginning to look into those.

In addition to the fees piling up, I believe this is a scare tactic because a summons is served each time, which is pretty disturbing. Then there is anticipating this unpleasant hearing. It is very stressful.

In all fairness, the instances of scheduling and canceling the debtors assets hearings are years apart but I believe this is something this attorney does regularly. In my brief (so far) research, I saw found case (same collection agency, same attorney) where the asset hearing was scheduled and canceled by the attorney. I think he has no intention of attending the hearings.

Does this sound like illegal fee charging and/or FDCPA violation for scare tactics?

Thank you
The hearings you are concerned about are scheduled "years apart?"

How many assets hearings have been scheduled and cancelled since 2010?

Based strictly on what you have said, it does not sound like the attorney is adding illegitimate fees to what you owe on the judgment.

If you think you have been wrongly charged for the costs of scheduling then cancelling hearings, you can have a professional in your area look over what besides interest is being added to the balance owing on the judgment.

The sooner you can pay off the judgment, the better.
 

latigo

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

(Sorry this is so long.) A debt buyer/collection service sued me and filed a default judgment in 2010.

I believe their attorney (whose office address is the same as the collection service) is engaged in collection abuse as well as charging several illegal fees to my judgment. One of the things he has done is twice schedule a debtor asset hearing, have me served, and then cancel for no reason. This last week he canceled two days before the hearing and I was not notified by mail until the day after the hearing was to take place. So of course I showed up.

This adds several charges on to the amount of the judgment, even though the attorney canceled. There are other unexplained charges on the memorandums of credits, but I am just beginning to look into those.

In addition to the fees piling up, I believe this is a scare tactic because a summons is served each time, which is pretty disturbing. Then there is anticipating this unpleasant hearing. It is very stressful.

In all fairness, the instances of scheduling and canceling the debtors assets hearings are years apart but I believe this is something this attorney does regularly. In my brief (so far) research, I saw found case (same collection agency, same attorney) where the asset hearing was scheduled and canceled by the attorney. I think he has no intention of attending the hearings.

Does this sound like illegal fee charging and/or FDCPA violation for scare tactics?

Thank you
Did the judgment issued in 2010 include an award of attorney fees to the judgment creditor? Why do I ask?

Because if it DID NOT include an award of attorney fees to the judgment creditor, you are NOT responsible for any attorney fees the judgment creditor incurs in enforcing the judgment. In other words, no attorney fees can be tact on to the existing judgment as added costs. (Cal. C.C.P Section 685.40)

If the judgment DID include an award of attorney fees to the judgment creditor, then you should be concerned with what appears to be an act of padding. Lawyers that represent bill collectors are of the same cheesy, bottom-feeding class of humanity and you can be assured that every minute they spend on a case is going to end up on their billing, including some minutes they don't spend on a case.

If you are vulnerable for such additional attorney fees, please understand that before they than can be taxed as additional costs to the judgment, their lawyer will need to file and serve you with a "Memorandum of Costs After Judgment". I assume that you haven't received any such memorandum or you would have mentioned it. So perhaps your protestations are premature.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Because if it DID NOT include an award of attorney fees to the judgment creditor, you are NOT responsible for any attorney fees the judgment creditor incurs in enforcing the judgment. In other words, no attorney fees can be tact on to the existing judgment as added costs. (Cal. C.C.P Section 685.40)
Here is a link to CCP 685.040 (I had it waiting in the wings :)):

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP&sectionNum=685.040

The 10% interest and the allowed addition of "reasonable and necessary costs of enforcement" can increase the judgment amount substantially, even without any attorney fees included.
 

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