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Collection Attorneys Should Be Careful With Their Letterheads

Feb 8th 2011 at 9:59 PM

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One of the violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), that is a noose around debt collection attorney's neck, is using an attorney's letterhead to sue debtors. An attorney representing debt collection companies should exercise caution with his letterhead.

All debt collection agencies, debt collectors and attorneys employed by these agencies that collect on debts are governed and regulated by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a federal statute enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ensure fair debt collection.


A recent scandal in Michigan about letterheads of an attorney is enough to send chills down the spine. Mr Yaple, was associated with a California collection agency called TK Financial as an attorney. A woman from Ohio, Ms Vlach received a letter from Attorney Yaple in which it was stated that he mentioned himself as an attorney of TK Financial and that he was retained by them to pursue a debt against her. The letter also mentioned his intentions of suing her and collect costs incurred in litigation. However, the letter was a typed sheet and not signed by the attorney. That did not stop her from suing Yaple for violating the FDCPA. She also presented two emails received from Yaple with his intentions of suing her.

Yaple alleges that he was being used by a TK Financial rogue collector who had created a letterhead with Yaple's name and an email account. Whatever he said, his life was now in trouble with a capital T. Although he is a California attorney, he had to defend himself in federal court in Ohio as a defendant in a class action. The case has since been settled and dismissed.

In all this something was missing: the third party debt collector mentioned by Yaple. This makes us doubt Yaple's intentions in this issue. Either that Yaple allowed his friends at TK Financial to use his letterhead or it was misused. If he shared his letterhead with a collector from TK, then he committed a grievous mistake. Yaple could have sued TK immediately which he did not and makes one wonder what his intentions were in this.

Whatever his intentions were or whatever the tarp he got himself into, this must have cost Yaple a handsome amount. Being a defendant in a class action suit in itself is a very big threat and can bring harm to one's assets. This would remain as a black mark on his career and his chances of practicing law are threatened.

Collection attorneys need to think twice before they use any of their power in legal capacity. They are trained professionals who should not get into practices that ordinary debt collectors would practice.


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