“Clerical Errors” Can Be Very Costly

Several of our clients have found out the hard way the view attorneys and regulators have about “clerical errors” in today’s financial environment, and it isn’t what you might expect. Lawyers who are making a living (and a rather good one!) come after debt collectors, and in some cases their clients, for what might seem like a “clerical error” in calculating interest or fees.  One might think since there was no “material” error (the consumer suffered no measurable harm) that simply changing the error and moving on should be sufficient.

Not in today’s world! “Simple” errors for fees or interest could be a violation of the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act.  Trying to collect it could be a violation of the state’s Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act, and having a third-party debt collector try to collect an erroneous fee can be a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  In the case of an FDCPA violation, the collector can expect to get a demand to settle for about $4500 or you get sued!  Be sure all of your contracts, financial agreements, fees and interest charges are legally allowed and properly signed for.  It is not an option as these trial lawyers sue first and don’t really bother asking questions, so be sure to get good counsel on your procedures and documents.

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