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Data Check of America Scam Warning

Data Check of America Scam Warning

There is a relatively new collection scam circulating, and I want to make the public aware of it. My office has been contacted by four former clients who have received the same collection call from a “Data Check of America”.

According to my clients, they received a call from this company, and were told that they had bounced a check at a Me & Eds Pizza in 2004. They were told that it needed to be paid or Data Check would execute a wage garnishment. (All the calls reference a bounced “Pizza” check.) I reached out to Me and Ed’s Corporate office and was told they know nothing about these collections, and have not authorized these collection efforts.

The scam artists are “spoofing” phone numbers, so the number showing on your caller ID is likely not correct. Examples of the “spoofed” numbers my clients received calls from are:

559-801-8915,
559-573-8780,
205-801-8915,
205-327-1150
404-400-3654
and 707-205-1628

The number that is left as a call back number in the recording is 866-298-3402, but when I tried to call that one, it went to a voicemail that was full.

I called 404-400-3654, (one of the numbers left) and got a live person. She answered the phone “Legal Department” and I told her that implied there was an attorney there. I asked for the name of that attorney, and said that I would like to speak with them. She did confirm that the company was “Data Check of America”. She said she would transfer me to a supervisor, and I was sent to a voicemail. I left a message, but no call was returned. When I called back and once again asked for the attorney’s name she said it was “Larry” but would not give me a last name, or where he was licensed to practice. She refused to give any information on where the company was located. I could hear a lot of phone activity in the background. It was obviously a phone “Boiler room”. When I pressed them for information on the company “Data Check of America”, they hung up on me. When I called back, the call went to a voicemail box that was full.

If you receive a call from “Data Check of America” saying you bounced a check, I would consider it a scam. You can, (and should) report these calls to the Federal Trade Commission here: FTC Complaint Site

It is my opinion that under NO circumstances should you send these people money.

Posted as public service by Timothy Springer, Bankruptcy Attorney, Fresno, CA

Have Home Equity? Need bankruptcy? BEWARE!!

House prices are going back up. While this is good news for our economy, it can be a very real problem if you own a home, have home equity, and need to file for bankruptcy. It always makes me sad to see someone that has filed a bankruptcy on their own, without a full understanding of what they are getting into. If there is going to be a problem, you want to know BEFORE you file. It is not fun to find out when you go to the court that you are going to lose your home, or your cars, or your tax return because you did not fully understand the process, and thought you could save money doing it yourself.

I have said it often, and will say it again now. GET ADVICE FROM A COMPETENT AND EXPERIENCED BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU FILE. It may be impossible to find an attorney that can fix the mess you made AFTER you have already filed. Get the help BEFORE you file.

Good Luck.
Timothy Springer, Esq.
Bankruptcy Attorney

60 Minutes Reported: There are 40 million mistakes on credit reports

60 Minutes reporter, Steve Kroft gave an excellent report on how the average consumer is being damaged by credit reporting agencies. To see the report click here:

40 Million Mistakes on Credit Reports

My office I receives a considerable amount of inquiries about problems on credit reports. This report does an excellent job of answering many questions, and gives further information to follow up on.

Jim Patterson, Assemblyman voted NO to helping struggling homeowners

The Office of Jim Patterson, Assemblyman voted NO on a SB-308. This bill was submitted to adjust for inflation, and help people stay in their homes, or at the very least give them a better chance to get another home. It would have also helped them keep their cars.

The bill would have also fixed a long standing problem of allowing someone who is, or has been separated from their spouse to protect their vehicles. Currently they often cannot unless they can get that separated spouse to sign a waiver. Many times they cannot even find that spouse, or have restraining orders against them. The new change would have not required them to contact that separated spouse.

There were many other advantages in this bill to help struggling people, but apparently Jim Patterson believed only banks and credit card companies should benefit from the laws.

Why am I picking on Jim Patterson? Because, I live in his district and (I am ashamed to say) he is my representative. Jim Patterson can be contacted at his web site. If you agree he should be representing us, and not the banks, LET HIM KNOW.

We need a representative that represents US. Please join me in voting against Jim Patterson in the next election.

Interesting Bankruptcy Articles From Harvard Law School

If you are a normal person, trying to read up on what bankruptcy is, THIS POST IS NOT FOR YOU. For basic information on bankruptcy Click Here for Common Question and Answers As a bankruptcy professional myself, I find these articles from Harvard Law School interesting, and am posting this link for like minded professionals. You are welcome to follow the link, but I believe the average person will find these articles about as interesting as reading a railroad time table. However, if you are a bankruptcy professional you may find this link interesting. Simply click on the link below.

Interesting Bankruptcy Articles From Harvard Law School

Beware of Collection Scam by Richard Campbell of legal consultant services

There seems to be a new phone scam. (I say “new” but other complaints imply they have been around awhile) One of my Chapter 7 clients filed and received a discharge of all debts, including one to Ace Cash Express. She has received several phone calls from a Richard Campbell of Legal Consultant Services. The return phone number was 678-212-5481. (look here: for other complaints.) Although she informed him she had filed bankruptcy, he told her (falsely) bankruptcy did not apply to this debt, and the police would be coming after her, and she was going to be served with a summons. None of these threats were true, or followed through on.

I contacted Ace Cash Express and their legal department assured me that they have never heard of these people, they are NOT collecting for Ace, and Ace sold the debt to Midwest Recovery Fund, LLC. As of this writing I have not been able to get a live person at Midwest, so can’t say how, or if they are involved. I will update this when I have more information.

For now, if you receive a call from a Richard Campbell of Legal Consultant Services I would consider it a scam. You can report these calls to the federal Trade Commission here: FTC Complaint Site

If you received a discharge of the debt in bankruptcy you should contact your attorney to go after them, as I have done here for my client.

Posted by Timothy Springer, Bankruptcy Attorney, Fresno, CA

Student Loans. Elizabeth Warren goes after banks

I, Timothy Springer, get a fair amount questions regarding what can be done about student loans. Former Harvard Professor, Elizabeth Warren, (Now a US Senator) is attempting to do something about it. But the short answer currently is “not much” can be done. Student loans have now bypassed credit card debt in this country. On July 31, 2014 Elizabeth Warren, in a Senate committee meeting, took on one of the bank’s representatives. It is worth a look to understand the problem we are up against. Just click on this link Elizabeth Warren on student loans and watch to get an idea. Then call your representative congress, or send them an email and tell them you support Ms. Warren in her efforts to get relief from student loans through bankruptcy.

When your done, Click Here to return to the home page

GET THE EDD GARNISHMENT BACK

 

Can a California EDD garnishment be stopped? In many cases YES, and sometimes get the EDD garnishment back!

California EDD was garnishing wages for a prior overpayment in one of my recent cases. Not only was I able to stop the garnishment with Chapter 7,  I was able to get the EDD garnishment back for the client.

The process went like this:

  • The client was served with an Earnings Withholding Order, and EDD began taking 25% of her paycheck for an alleged overpayment. She could not afford this, so we filed Chapter 7 for her, and stopped the garnishment. The Debt was Discharged in July, 2013.
  •  As part of the case, my office then filed a lawsuit against EDD demanding they return the $830.76. The California Employment Development Department apparently chose to ignore the lawsuit, and a Default Judgment was entered against them on November 27, 2013. (Click here: (EDD Judgment Signed)  to see a copy of the Judgment. I removed the client’s name for privacy purposes.)
  • I then had the Court issue a Writ, and had the U.S. Marshal serve the Fresno County Sheriff to intercept against funds being garnished for EDD to pay the Judgment. We were able to get the EDD garnishment back, plus costs last week.
  • For some reason many bankruptcy attorneys stop at just filing the case. I guess their clients are simply happy just to get the EDD garnishment stopped. However, here at the Law Office of Timothy C. Springer, if the facts warrant it, we don’t stop there. If it is possible to get money back, we go after it. Our goal is to make sure you come out the best you possibly can.

For other examples of garnishments recovered by Attorney Timothy Springer, Click Here. You should consider Timothy Springer as YOUR Fresno Bankruptcy Attorney.

If creditors are after you, and garnishing your wages, call The Law Office of Timothy Springer today so we can explore your options to get your hard earned money back.

Timothy C. Springer, Attorney at Law

(559) 225-3622

 

Will a bankruptcy trustee take advantage of your ignorance if you represent yourself? ABSOLUTELY!!

Chapter 7 is “liquidation”. Many people believe this means they are going to lose everything if they file. When you file you ARE giving permission to the Chapter 7 trustee to sell off your “Non-exempt” assets to pay your debts. However, they can only take those things that are NOT exempt. You list all of your assets in your bankruptcy paperwork, and then explain to the court how you are exempting the things you have listed. This is why you want an experienced bankruptcy attorney to tell you ahead of time what you can legally exempt, and what you cannot.

I wanted to write this post because I recently observed a rather sad case. A lady had filed on her own without an attorney. When she appeared at the court for her Meeting of Creditors, (This is a meeting you must appear at as part of the process) the Chapter 7 Trustee asked her about her tax return, and was she getting any money back. She acknowledged she was getting a large refund. The Trustee simply told her she would have to turn that refund over to him. Not knowing any better, she did turn it over, and it was paid out to creditors.

It is important to note here that the Trustee did nothing wrong by taking the return. It is the Trustee’s job, and duty to recover whatever they can for creditors. It is NOT the trustee’s job to give legal advice when the debtor has failed to properly exempt property, and thus makes it available to creditors. The trustee will simply take it, and give it to creditors. What WAS wrong with this picture is the person could have used the exemptions in this case to keep the trustee from taking it. She lost literally thousands of dollars she could have kept, because she wanted to save money not hiring an attorney. In this case she lost roughly 5 times more than what an attorney would have cost her.

Do not fall into this trap. Contact an EXPERIENCED Fresno Bankruptcy Attorney, such as Timothy C. Springer if you need to file Bankruptcy. Here at the Law Office of Timothy C. Springer we give free consultations to explore your options. Call today at 559-225-3622.

Do you know that it is not only possible to stop a garnishment, but maybe get the money back?

I am a bit shocked. I have recently discovered that many other bankruptcy attorneys in the Fresno area are not going after creditors to return the money they took. In many cases, (not all), the Bankruptcy Code allows you to get a refund of the money that was garnished, or levied. It IS limited though. You can only go back 90 days, and they must have taken more than $600.00.

So, if you have had a bank account levied, or you are currently being garnished, be sure that the attorney you choose is going to do ALL of the work needed for your case. Not just file the paperwork, then leave you high and dry, and let the collection company keep your money.

As an update I have added a page here: Prior Results to give examples of wage garnishments recovered by my office.

If you have any questions about this, or any other bankruptcy issue. Contact the Law Office of Timothy C. Springer at 559-225-3622.