Over the years a number of Gray Plant Mooty attorneys have provided bankruptcy screening services and debtor/creditor services under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to clients of Volunteer Lawyers Network and Central Minnesota Legal Services. These services have protected hundreds of clients from harassing and unfair practices by debt collectors.
The bankruptcy screening service is used to determine the best course of action for clients, located throughout the state, who are facing aggressive debt collection activities. GPM attorneys elicit information about the client’s income, liabilities, and assets to determine if creditors are able to collect the client’s income or assets. If the client is “judgment proof” (meaning that the client’s income and assets are exempt from garnishment or execution) the client may be recommended for the letter-writing program related to the FDCPA. If the attorney deems bankruptcy is the best legal option, the clients are referred for placement with a different volunteer attorney.
GPM attorneys assist clients who do not file for bankruptcy in understanding their rights and to help stop often extremely harassing contacts from debt collectors. GPM attorneys draft letters to the creditors telling them that the client is judgment proof, that further efforts to collect the debt will be futile, and that they must stop making telephone contact with the debtor. Clients report a great sense of relief when that contact stops, and they express gratitude for being able to learn their rights regarding possible collection activities.
GPM attorneys who have worked on many of these matters over the years include: Phil Bohl, Inchan Hwang, Abi McGibbon, Scott Larison, Jeff Peterson, Phil Kunkel, Dorrie Larison, George Meinz, and Jason Thibodeaux.
To learn more about pro bono matters in which GPM attorneys are making a difference, visit our pro bono page.