Our firm represents financial institutions in lawsuits under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and also handles contested mortgage foreclosures and investment management lawsuits. From our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, our lawyers serve clients primarily in Pennsylvania, but also in other jurisdictions on a special admission basis.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a complex federal law that regulates creditors and credit reporting agencies. The FCRA provides statutory damages including attorney fees to a successful plaintiff, so seemingly minor violations can have significant consequences for defendants. The FCRA’s pro-consumer provisions attract plaintiffs’ lawyers who specialize in “repeat” litigation and also pro se lawsuits filed by consumers themselves.See our blog Fair Credit Reporting Act Blog at FCRA on Fridays.
Houston Harbaugh attorneys have defended credit reporting agencies, credit resellers, and creditors in scores of FCRA lawsuits since 2003, often serving as national or “quarterback” counsel in single-consumer lawsuits from Maine to California and from Minnesota to Texas. They have also defended class action lawsuits alleging systematic violations of the FCRA by retailers and credit reporting agencies.
The firm’s lawyers understand that most FCRA suits are small cases that can have big consequences. We review not just the facts and the law, but also the expressed needs of the plaintiff and his or her counsel, before helping clients to resolve disputes quickly and cost-effectively through litigation or settlement. Houston Harbaugh has filed successful motions for judgment on the pleadings or for summary judgment in a number of different federal courts, but he often resolves cases through settlement where that approach makes more sense for the client.
Most mortgage foreclosures are filed and prosecuted by specialized firms through the mail; these cases do not require much litigation because the borrower admits default and relinquishes possession. But when a borrower retains counsel and actively defends a foreclosure suit, lenders need counsel with litigation experience who can handle discovery, appear in court, and bring the suit to a fair conclusion.
Attorneys at the Pittsburgh law firm of Houston Harbaugh have that experience. Together and separately, they have taken over the prosecution of numerous mortgage foreclosure cases, litigating on behalf of lenders and also the FDIC. They are familiar with lenders’ need to reach a cost-effective solution to each case, be it foreclosure or a refinanced loan. They are also familiar with the various procedures that local courts have adopted to streamline foreclosure cases.
Pennsylvania Contested Foreclosures Attorneys
Most mortgage foreclosures are filed and prosecuted by specialized firms through the mail; these cases do not require much litigation because the borrower admits default and relinquishes possession. But when a borrower retains counsel and actively defends a foreclosure suit, lenders need counsel with litigation experience who can handle discovery, appear in court, and bring the suit to a fair conclusion..
Investment Management Litigation
When unhappy investors sue their brokers or investment advisors, both money and the defendants’ reputation are at stake. Attorneys Anthony Picadio and Jason Spak have handled numerous lawsuits between investors and their advisors, and they understand how sensitive these cases are for both plaintiffs and defendants. Working under the rules of court or of arbitration, and often with experts, Mr. Picadio and Mr. Spak translate seemingly arcane investment concepts into plain English that courts and juries alike can appreciate. This approach has helped to take some of the emotion out of these cases and to allow the arbitrators or courts to resolve them fairly and, from our clients’ perspective, satisfactorily.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act / Telephone Consumer Protection Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that regulates debt collectors. It provides guidelines that debt collectors must follow and imposes strict liability on those who do not: a plaintiff who shows evidence of an FDCPA violation can recover statutory damages, actual damages, and – often most significantly – attorney fees. To prevail, defendants must show that there was no violation or that it was the result of a “bona fide error” – a mistake that took place in spite of having procedures in place to prevent it.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a separate federal law that regulates any entity that uses the telephone to do business. It applies to debt collectors, because they often or always limit themselves to phone or mail communications in their efforts to collect debts. Like the FDCPA, the TCPA is a strict liability statute that imposes damages of $500 per call – meaning that damages can mount quickly for someone accused of making daily or weekly calls that violate this law. However, the Federal Communications Commission has adopted regulations that clarify when, how, and to what extent the TCPA applies to debt collectors; so it is important for debt collectors who face TCPA claims to use counsel who is familiar with this area and who knows what might and might not be violations.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys in this area file dozens of lawsuits every month, offering to settle them quickly as part of a “volume practice.” Defending FDCPA litigation therefore involves not only knowing the law and the facts, but also the business goals of the client, to determine when it makes sense to settle and when it makes sense to push back. Attorney Jason Spak at the Pittsburgh law firm of Houston Harbaugh strives to know the law, the facts, and the relevant business objectives of the FDCPA / TCPA clients he represents, and he handles lawsuits in this area throughout the country.
For more information, call 412-288-4000 or send our PSMN ® Pittsburgh financial services attorneys an e-mail by completing the contact form on this website.
Contact Our Financial Litigation Law Firm Today: Business Litigation. Pittsburgh Strong. ®
For more information, call 412-288-4000 or send our Pittsburgh financial services litigation attorneys an e-mail by completing the contact form on this website.