Our Success Stories
Client contacted our office for assistance in obtaining a refund of premiums that she paid on multiple health insurance policies. Client went through an agent to purchase the insurance several years ago. The premium was deducted from her business account automatically each month. Client had directed her agent to cancel the coverage. Client had an accountant managing the account and was unaware, until recently, that she was also being debited for supplemental insurance coverage. Client never applied for, nor authorized, the supplemental policies. Client reached out to the insurance company and was offered a two-month refund. Our attorney wrote a letter to the insurance company demanding a refund of all of the premiums that had been paid for the six policies, advising that they had failed to show that the policies had ever been delivered to the Client and that the agent?s actions in securing the policies were improper and unethical. In response to our letter, the company remitted the requested refund. Recovery for Client, $7,335.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance regarding a lien filed against his property. Client had a second mortgage on his home. He filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2010, and the mortgage was discharged, but the lien was still on the property. Prior to the Client filing bankruptcy, he entered into a refinancing agreement with the mortgage company, but could not recall whether the second mortgage was included. Client received a Notice of Default and the mortgage company started the foreclosure process. Our attorney contacted the opposing attorney?s office to work out a settlement and stop the foreclosure sale. We received a response that they would accept a lump sum payment of $25,000.00 for full settlement and release of the lien. Client agreed to the terms. Savings to Client, $93,167.82.
Client contacted our office for assistance after receiving a demand letter from his employer for salary that was paid to him while he was on long-term disability (LTD) leave. In 2014, Client fell seriously ill and was placed on LTD. During the leave period, Client received LTD benefit payments from the insurance company; however, his employer never cancelled his salary payroll deposits. The payroll deposits continued for a little over two (2) years before the employer discovered the error. Client had contacted the payroll department early on and notified them that he was being paid, and someone verbally confirmed that he was rightfully being paid in accordance with company policy. Our attorney wrote a letter advising their representative?s error had caused the indebtedness to the company, and offered a $50,000.00 settlement based on Client?s major health issues and financial situation, which the former employer accepted. Savings to Client, $294,000.00.
Your Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding The Practice of Debt Collection
Frequently, consumers are contacted by a mysterious caller on the phone or by mail and advised that the party or organization is trying to collect on a debt. This process is known as debt collection. There are certain legal requirements under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that organizations, such as a collection agency or debt collector that specializes in debt collection, must follow. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the country?s consumer protection agency that enforces the FDCPA, promotes consumer protection, and investigates fraud, identity theft, or unfair business practices. We receive numerous calls about debt collection matters. We have outlined below some of the most frequently asked questions related to debt collection:
How should I respond to a demand or an inquiry from a debt collector?
If you receive a phone call, you can require that the caller contact you in writing. Make sure not to provide any personal information unless you have confirmed the caller is a legitimate debt collector. If you receive a letter instead, the request must contain legally-required information. You will need to find out the name of the debt collector, the address, and the phone number. Specifics such as what the debt is for and when it was incurred, who is the original creditor, and who exactly owes the debt, or does it belong to someone else, should also be included in the correspondence. Also, you have the right to confirm the amount of the debt owed, interest fees, or any associated collection costs.
What signs should I look for to confirm that the caller or the written correspondence is a legitimate debt collector and this is not a debt collection scam?
A legitimate debt collector should never threaten to press criminal charges or have you arrested. Nor will a legitimate debt collector refuse to provide you with information about the debt, or ask for your personal information. Lastly, you may not be dealing with a legitimate debt collection agency if the caller or written communication is attempting to collect on a debt that you do not recognize.
How can I get the debt collector to stop contacting or harassing me?
You can tell them to stop communicating with you, or write them a letter to stop. It is advisable to send this letter by certified mail to confirm you took this measure and to keep for your records. After that, they are only allowed to notify you that there will be no further contact, or that they will be taking legal action. If the debt collector continues to contact you, even though you sent them a letter, they may be violating the FDCPA. As a side note, debt collectors are prohibited from calling after 9:00 P.M. They also may not call you at your job. The FDCPA does not permit debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive tactics to collect a debt.
What will happen if I ignore debt collectors?
Ignoring the letter or phone calls will not make the debt go away or stop the debt collector from pursuing other courses of action. The debt collector may try to report negative information on your credit report or sue you to collect the debt.
If you think the debt collector has violated the FDCPA, or a fake debt collector has tried to scam you, or you are being sued, please contact our law firm immediately. We are always prepared to assist with the issues triggered by the filing of a lawsuit by a creditor or debt collector, such as negotiating a settlement, debt collection defenses, statute of limitations considerations, judgments, garnishments, and liens.
Legislative Updates And New Laws That Have Gone Into Effect In Georgia
Georgia lawmakers are currently hard at work under the Gold Dome during the 2018 legislative session. So far, in this session the Georgia General Assembly overhauled Georgia?s current adoption laws. See House Bill (HB 159). Once Governor Nathan Deal signs this legislation into law, the adoption process will be made much easier for parents considering adoption of a child. Now birth mothers will have a shorter time frame to change their minds after giving up their children. The revocation period a birth mother has to surrender a child has been shortened from ten days to four days. Adoptive parents can now reimburse birth mothers for their living expenses, when before Georgia law prohibited it. Legislators are still working on codifying rules for prenuptial agreements; amending the Georgia Trust Code; considering expansion of internet access to rural areas; providing tax breaks to people who move to rural areas; assisting struggling rural hospitals; and creating a statewide Business Court.
Here are the laws that passed during the 2017 legislative session that have now gone into effect as of January 1, 2018:
HB 148 Fire departments will have to pay a lump sum to fire fighters diagnosed with certain types of cancers and they will receive up to three years of disability payments due to job related injuries or illnesses.
HB 154 Dental hygienists can now provide basic dental care without the presence of a dentist and can work outside of a dentist office.
HB 155 The Georgia Music Investment Act provides a 15% tax incentive to musical tours or production companies that generate $500,000 for live performances, $250,000 for standalone musical scores, and $100,000 for recorded musical performances.
HB 340 Georgia lawmakers eliminated sales and property taxes on cars in favor of imposing a new 7% fee. This rule will also extend to those Georgians who lease vehicles.
2018 Firm Holiday Closings:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 15 (Monday)
Good Friday- March 30 (Friday)
Memorial Day -May 28 (Monday)
Independence Day- July 4 (Wednesday)
Labor Day- September 3 (Monday)
Thanksgiving- November 22 & 23 (Thursday & Friday)
Christmas- December 24 & 25 (Monday & Tuesday)