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Video Transcript:

Hello, my name is Ian Leavengood. I'm the founder of LeavenLaw and the partner in charge of its creditor harassment and class action divisions.

We're here today because you've made the decision to hire LeavenLaw for representation regarding your debts in one form or another. Whether or not you've decided to hire the firm for bankruptcy protection, you've been sued by a creditor or a debt buyer, you're facing foreclosure, or you've just decided to seek assistance to try and settle your debts without litigation, LeavenLaw in its consumer protection attorneys offer services to you a LeavenLaw client, that you may not be aware of. These are very important consumer protections, not only that are gonna provide you peace of mind, but importantly could provide you monetary damages if you understand your rights, you understand the process, and you help us help you.

So you've retained LeavenLaw. What's the next step? Well, one of the things that our firm will do once you've retained us for representation regarding your debt, we take great steps to make sure that we provide notice of representation to all of your creditors, to any debt collectors that may be contacting you to collect a debt. The reason being is there are both federal and state laws that provide protections to you, the consumer debtor, that prohibit creditors and debt collectors from continuing to communicate with you after they have noticed that you have retained an attorney for representation regarding your debt. Any of those different types of practice areas, again whether it's bankruptcy, credit card or debt buyer defense, debt settlement, or mortgage foreclosure, all of those types of representations necessarily require us to represent you with regard to your debt.

What we do is we will take steps to send faxes of representation to all of your creditors and debt collectors, letting them know that you've hired LeavenLaw, and that any further communications should be sent to our office. We do this via faxes, we do this via certified letter, and we do this via emails. We have spent decades building this database of information to offer you, the LeavenLaw client, these consumer protections. Once the faxes of representation, the notices of representation, have been received by the creditors or debt collectors, your phone should stop ringing. Letters, monthly statements, should stop coming. Instead, those communications need to come to us, your attorney, so we can look at those communications. We understand the creditors and debt collectors that are out there, and we have the ability to provide you counsel with regard to your debt. That's the way the law is set up, and that's what creditors and debt collectors are supposed to do.

Not surprisingly, or at least not surprisingly to me, an attorney who's been doing this for over 20 years, creditors and debt collectors do not always abide by the law. In fact, many times in our experience, they will ignore our notices of representation. They will disregard the fact that you may have answered a telephone call and told them that you have hired LeavenLaw for representation. Instead, creditors and debt collectors typically are after one thing and one thing alone, and that is payment on your debt. So, if you receive these calls, and you receive these letters, you receive the monthly billing statements from these creditors and debt collectors after you know that we have represented to them that you have hired an attorney, you could be entitled to monetary damages.

Your next question may be, "Well, how am I going to know when you, my attorney has told all of these creditors about our representation?" It's a great question. We will be sending you a Creditor Harassment Protection Center notification email that essentially will advise you all of the creditors and all of the debt collectors that we have taken great steps to notify of the representation. From that point forward, no communications can come in to you. If they do, you could be entitled to statutory damages under one of three laws.

First of all, the Florida Act, it's called the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, that prohibits anybody from communicating with you once they know you've hired an attorney. Its sister statute, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act similarly prohibits direct-to-you communications to collect the debt, but that only applies to debt collectors and debt buyers. Finally, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a statute that governs robo calls, calls that are placed to your cell phone using a computer or an automated or prerecorded voice, those are also prohibited. In each of these statutes, you could be entitled to monetary damages, in some cases $1,000, in some cases two. In the case of robo calls to your cell phone, you could be entitled to between 500 and $1,500 per call placed to your cell phone after they know that you've hired an attorney.

So as you can see, these consumer protection statutes, not only do they provide you peace of mind, and they're supposed to provide the privacy that they were intended to give. They also could be very lucrative to you. They could provide you statutory damages not only to help settle debts, to help pay bills, but in a way, to finance your bankruptcy, to finance your mortgage foreclosure defense, to pay for your attorney's fees. This is what makes LeavenLaw distinct from other consumer attorneys in the Tampa Bay area, in that we have great knowledge of these laws and we go to great lengths to make sure we educate you, the LeavenLaw client on the laws, and how you can help us to eliminate your debt and to finance your fresh start.

If you have any questions about any of these laws, there are many different ways you can educate yourself. First and foremost, do not hesitate to contact LeavenLaw. Ask to speak to me or any of the consumer protection attorneys, and we will be happy to answer your questions and go over the process and the program. Additionally, we have many resources available both online, and in the email referenced earlier, that allow you to read up on these statutes, to understand the protections that are available, to understand the damages that are available to you, and more importantly, educate you on the steps that you need to take to make sure you give us the information we need to help you get your fresh start.

I know that this can be a challenging time, but we think that you've made the right decision in hiring LeavenLaw to assist you with your consumer debts, and we will go above and beyond to make sure that we provide you all of the consumer protections that we possibly can. We will look forward to helping you. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.