MADISON, Wis., May 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions announced a hefty fine for a company hired by a Wisconsin consumer attorney to assist with her law firm's paraprofessional and paralegal services. In its press release dated May 2, 2013, the DFI claims, "This administration and DFI are committed to upholding laws that protect consumers."
What the press release doesn't point out is that the so-called "enforcement action" was preceded by an email complaint from an aggressive bill collector, who has filed no fewer than 467 lawsuits against low-income Wisconsin residents, according to court documents on the Wisconsin Courts website:
Rick Taylor, (AKA: Richard Taylor, Jr) owns Bonded Collectors of Wisconsin, Inc., a company in Portage, WI. According to court documents, his company routinely sues residents in financial trouble, yet when confronted with residents who have attorney representation, this collector complained to the DFI, alleging his business has been hurt and he is being harassed. (See Attachment A, DFI complaint: http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/25365/file/19499.pdf).
In his original complaint, filed on December 4, 2009, he says a consumer from whom he was trying to collect money had hired an attorney and that he was to stop calling the consumer. "We received a notice from a law firm telling us to no longer contact (consumer)," Taylor's complaint said.
"In each and every contact they have made offers to settle and in response we have told them that we do not settle accounts and that they should direct their client… to set up payment arrangements."
Taylor continues in his emailed complaint to talk about not wanting to work on a settlement and instead, forwarded on the account to a legal collection law firm. Many legal collection law firms have aggressively pursued consumers hoping for a "default judgment," which can then allow the owners of this debt to garnish money from the consumer by garnishing the consumer's limited take-home pay from a job or repossessing property.
At least one consumer has filed a federal lawsuit against Bonded Collectors of Wisconsin. Wisconsin resident Mollie Jo Peper has sued Bonded Collectors of Wisconsin for allegedly over stepping its reach under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, statute 15:1692d(6), which requires those attempting to collect a debt to disclose its true identity.
In this lawsuit filed on April 19, 2012 in Wisconsin District Court, Peper V. Bonded Collectors of Wisconsin (case #3:12-cv-00282), Ms. Peper states she received a call from the Bonded Collectors of Wisconsin saying, "Tommy Smith calling for Mollie. Call me at 608-742-4142. Thanks."
Not identifying a true identity of a debt collector is a violation of federal law.
Attorneys who hire Morgan Drexen say they're concerned vulnerable residents now facing legal action may potentially be "left out in the cold" because of the DFI's decision, now losing a valuable voice in court against debt collectors.
CONTACT: Karen E. Carlson 800-868-1458 x212 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource: Morgan Drexen Integrated Systems