Are Alabama Consumer Lawyers Alchemists? Or “I know there is a pony somewhere!”

“Are Alabama Consumer Lawyers Alchemists?”

Alabama consumers search for consumer lawyers because they have a problem that many have told them cannot be fixed — credit report error, sued by a debt collector, facing (or already have) a foreclosure, harassed by a debt collector, etc.

The question is can a consumer lawyer really help you?

Often the answer is “Yes!”

Let me give you two illustrations not from the legal world and then some case studies about how this can work in actual practice.

Consumer Alchemy

The first is the idea of “alchemy.”

Where the forerunners of chemists tried to figure out how to turn common medals (such as lead) into gold.

It did not work for them but we can take this concept to transform a bad situation into a positive situation as you will see in the case studies below.

“There must be a pony somewhere!”

The second is a funny, yet powerful, story about a psychological test where people were put in a room and watched through cameras.

The disgusting part is the room was full of horse manure.

Everybody was horrified by this and wanted out immediately.

Except for one little boy.

The staff heard laughing and watched him gleefully going through the piles (sorry, bad pun!) as happy as he could be.

When the staff asked him what he was doing he said with a huge smile “I see all of the horse manure so I know there must be a pony somewhere!”

That is what we try to do as consumer lawyers.

Clients bring us difficult situations they are in and we have the mindset that there is some way to turn this bad situation into a good one.

Example of Client Sued by Debt Collector After Client Settled the Debt

Our client had an old debt and a debt collector (debt buyer) contacted him.

The collector offered to settle the debt ($10,000) for about $6,000.

Our client agreed and paid it.

The relief that this debt was gone and would never bother him again.

But, as often happens with these so-called “zombie debt collectors” — the debt came back.

The debt collector sued our client for the $4,000 “balance” plus interests and costs.

A bad situation, right?

Many consumers would bury their heads and do nothing.

Complain about how unfair this is.

Listen to their friends who say “Well, you got burned.  No lawyer can help you.”

But he didn’t do that.

He came to us, we defended him in the lawsuit and won.  Pretty easy since he had already settled the case.

But the debt collector wasn’t satisfied with just suing him over a bogus suit.  The debt collector continued to report on his credit reports that he owed the money.

We helped the client dispute the debt with the credit reporting agencies but the debt collector said “Leave it on there — he owes this money.”

Despite the fact that he paid it off in a settlement and then won the collection lawsuit!

So we sued.

This collector paid a very large amount of money and got it off of our credit reports.

An example of a bad situation (being sued on a bogus debt — having false credit reporting) was transformed into a positive situation.

The client “found the pony” in the middle of all the piles of the debt collector.

Example of Homeowner Foreclosed on When Mortgage Company Had No Right to Foreclose

In this example a homeowner was facing foreclosure but made all the necessary arrangements to bring the loan current so there would be no foreclosure.

But the mortgage company foreclosed anyway.

Then the mortgage company threatened to sue the consumer over what had happened.

Lawyers told the consumer that he could not be helped.

Once the foreclosure happened it was too late to do anything about this.

So the homeowner had lost ownership of the property, had a foreclosure on his credit reports, and was now about to be sued.

I think this qualifies as standing in the middle of some piles.

But a lawyer told the homeowner there was hope and referred him to us.

We were able to sue the mortgage company and ultimately the mortgage company knocked tens of thousands of dollars off the relatively small home loan; agreed the judge should “void” the foreclosure so it never happened; cleared any negative credit reporting; and paid a very large amount of money to our client.

Again, a bad situation but one where the consumer would not give up.

They kept pushing and seeking answers.

We were glad to represent him and were pleased to see him turn this bad situation into a very positive situation.

Example of Consumer Who Could Not Get Credit Reporting Agencies to Take Off an Identity Theft Account on Client’s Credit Reports

You can watch news reports of people struggling for years trying to get false information off of their credit reports.

While occasionally this may be unavoidable, I have never seen this in my practice.

Instead, credit report errors are some of the easiest to correct.  Even identity theft is something that can be fixed quickly.

Let me tell you about a client was the victim of identity theft.

An ex spouse opened up a credit card from a major credit card company and ran up over $10,000 in debt.

The client found out about this when trying to refinance his house.

The credit card company, following a so called “domestic rule,” said “Well, this was your spouse so you are responsible for it, not us.”

That’s not the law — that’s just a dumb rule credit card companies try to impose on innocent consumers.

Multiple disputes followed to the bank and the credit reporting agencies.

Letter after letter.

Even affidavits (sworn statements) did no good.

Lawyers told him he could not do anything about this.

But one lawyer sent him to us to see what we could do.

We saw how this client had gone way above and beyond what was necessary to dispute a false credit report item.

The solution?  Sue the credit reporting agencies and the bank.

The bank and agencies quickly deleted to false information and then it came time to discuss how much money was owed to our client.

He ultimately settled the case for a very large amount of money.

This was a bad situation — some said a “hopeless situation” — as all of his dispute letters did no good and lawyers could not help him.

But he kept on and when suit was filed (normally the right solution when your dispute letter fails to fix your credit reports) this provided the ultimate fix.

Credit reports fixed.

Money damages paid.

Our client found the pony.

They transformed a bad situation into a great situation.

Can your bad situation be transformed into a great situation — can you find the pony?

I don’t know until we talk.

Every situation is different.

But until you check out your situation and find out your options, you will be stuck in the bad situation — stuck in the piles.

We suggest you look for the pony.

Have the attitude you can turn this bad situation into a good one and then work hard to make it happen.

If we can help you — give us a call at 205-879-2447 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back with you right away.

I look forward to chatting with you.

Have a great day!

-John G. Watts

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