Watts & Herring — Mafia Lawyers Abusing Debt Collectors?
“Watts & Herring — Mafia Lawyers Abusing Debt Collectors?”
Stan Herring and I sue debt collectors.
We do not represent debt collection agencies or debt buyers.
We sue them.
According to some defense lawyers, this makes us mafia lawyers….
How stupid is that?
But let’s see what in the world they are talking about….
When we sue the abusive debt collectors, they know that they have been caught doing something wrong.
When we settle cases, the collectors want to have the cases be dismissed.
We have been threatened by three lawyers in the debt collection industry.
The threat was that we would be sued for extortion or blackmail.
This would be brought under RICO.
It stands for “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”.
This is a law that is used against the mafia.
That seemed surprising.
We were told that these lawyers would be “coming after us hard” for the claims of extortion.
This is not a new threat to “come after you hard” but the extortion was a new line on an old song.
Puzzled and surprised, we asked how had we extorted money?
We were told that because we file suits against debt collectors and then later dismiss the suits, that this was evidence that we were engaged in an organized ring of extortion against poor innocent debt collectors.
Further evidence was that we had contacted lawyers about resolving cases by settlement rather than by a jury verdict.
Funny, none of the companies that settled with us complained about settling.
They all wanted to settle…
Now understand that our judges here expect for us to engage in early settlement negotiations, particularly when there are statutes involving fee shifting which means the defendant can be forced to pay our fees.
Not having ever been accused of being a mobster before, we were somewhat taken aback and had to think about this threat, as absurd as it is, very seriously.
And while there are all sorts of implications to lawyers making this type of threat against us, it did let us know at least one thing….
Our lawsuits and our verdicts and our efforts in going after abusive debt collectors have definitely gotten the attention of debt collectors.
We have been told before that the lead lawyers at the ACA, the leading organization of debt collectors, have been watching our lawsuits and our verdicts and have been trying to formulate ways to put an end to us suing debt collectors.
Lawyers routinely tell us similar things — “If you sue us again, we will fight you hard.”
“We will bring our resources to bear on you and you will be in a serious fight in federal court.”
“This will make a big name for me when I beat you at trial.”
I think these guys forget that we learned from Gusty Yearout, one of the best trial lawyers I have ever seen, not to ever let someone intimidate you.
So that threat doesn’t work.
But what is the point of all of these threats?
Simply this — they want us to be silent and not tell you about your rights.
We recently had to take a debt collector to court in front of a federal judge because the debt collector would not honor the settlement agreement but wanted to add in a provision that we could never mention the lawsuit and could not have any discussion of the debt collector on our web site.
This company and its lawyers were very clear that their purpose was in stopping us from in any way getting out the word that there are debt collectors out there that are breaking the law and that we are suing them.
The federal judge seemed surprised that they thought they could do this to us.
His statement was clear to stop this nonsense or face consequences.
Mortgage companies are doing the same thing.
They are insisting we sign “non disparagement” agreements saying we will never say anything, even if true, which could bring shame or embarassment upon, for example, Bank of America.
OK, how exactly do you bring shame on Bank of America?
I think they have done a pretty good job of that themselves!
If you have looked at our home page or watched any of our videos then you’ll know that one thing that we repeat quite often is that debt collectors will willingly break the law and abuse you because they believe two things.
First, you do not understand what your rights are.
See if you don’t know your rights, then how could you possibly know what to do? It’s like being in a car and having no idea where your destination is.
But then they also think you will not take any action.
There’s a great quote by Derek Sivers that goes something like this: “If knowledge is all that matters, we would all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
His point is that we have to use what we know — we have to take action. Go back to our car example.
If you know where to go, but you never put it into drive — you never step on the accelerator — then you won’t get to your destination.
So these collectors want you to not know your rights AND they want you to be scared to take action.
That’s why they hate us suing them.
This is why it makes them so angry that they are willing to break settlement agreements and make illegal threats in an attempt to blackmail us into silence to try to stop us from getting the word out to you.
We tell you all this because we thought you might find it interesting and also to encourage you if you are facing abuse by debt collectors, learn about your rights and then take the appropriate action.
The more people that sue abusive debt collectors, the more exposure this brings to the dishonorable companies in the industry.
We talked about this in our “hero” post that really got people in the collection industry upset.
The more suits that are filed and the more exposure there is, the more the press gets interested in investigating.
This is when the tide turns against them.
They can’t fight it forever and your action may be the tipping point to making changes in the industry.
If that makes us gangster attorneys then so be it. Godfather is one of our favorite movies… 🙂
If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.
We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
I look forward to chatting with you!
Have a great day.
PS — Here is a funny (sad?) update. We sued a company for violating the law. No question about it.
They needed to come here to give a deposition.
Their lawyer told the judge they were scared to come here because we called ourselves the mafia lawyers. He even printed out this article.
Said they feared for their safety.
Of course if someone has a reading ability at a first grade or higher, they would understand we were accused of this — not saying we were.
The goofiness never stops with the defendants we sue!
Hey, I guess it’s good the bad guys read this. Enjoy!