|Received:||9/26/2007 2:29:52 PM|
|Organization:||Muscato Bogulski & Shatkin, LLP|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Debt Collection Workshop|
Comments:In my 17 years of litigation, I have never seen a statute so rife with abuse as I have the FDCPA. There is absolutely NO incentive for a plaintiff's attorney to settle a claim of even the most innocent of collection errors when they know that by protracting the litigation and winning at trial on just one issue, they are guaranteed, by statute, to get their fees. I can't begin to tell you how many cases I have seen personally wherein the plaintiff's lawyer turns down the offer of the statutory damages of $1,000 allowed by the FDCPA, along with $500. for his one hour of time so that he/she can "conduct thorough discovery in this matter." Translation: I need to work this file up to several thousand dollars before settling it. Is there any prospect of revisiting the damages portion of the FDCPA, at least as it pertains to the rather automatic awarding of fees to the plaintiff's lawyer?? As written, the FDCPA fees provision has spawned a virtual cottage industry of lawyers filing anything they can, knowing they will get paid in the end to do so. Thank you for your time and attention to this troubling matter.