Special Bar Association Rules for Debt Collection Attorneys

The Buffalo News reports that the Erie County Bar Association president, Stephen Lamantia believes that special rules should be established for collection attorneys. He seems to believe that debt collection attorneys are giving the bar association a bad name. He cites examples of non lawyer debt collectors using scare tactics to collect balances due from consumers.
The problem with Lamantia’s position is that there is already a set of rules in place to govern not only attorney debt collectors, but non attorney debt collectors as well. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates just about anyone involved in third party debt collection. While Lamantia states that “most debt collection lawyers operate ethically”, he would still create a set of rules aimed directly at collection attorneys.
To be sure, however, our section of the bar association is not completely without our problems. In 2005, Michigan had a very well known collection attorney who lost his license because he failed to serve process on debtors but filed proofs of service with the court anyway. However, each debtor whom he sued and failed to serve with process has a more than adequate remedy under the FDCPA and the Michigan Collection Practices Act. What more relief would Lamantia believe he could provide to the public?
Lawyers in general of have been the butt of jokes for years. Indeed, we all know that the media loves to excoriate us at every turn. The solution, however, is not for bar associations to cannabalize its members. I would suggest that Lamantia first review the FDCPA before advocating bureaucratically obnoxious if not politically pretty bar rules to govern us collection attorneys.
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This entry was posted on Friday, August 4th, 2006 and is filed under Collection Law Firms in the News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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