Jeffrey Mehalic’s Legal Blog

Accepting Cases in Morgantown, Wheeling, Martinsburg & Nearby West Virginia

Make Sure Your Zombie Debt Doesn't Come Back to Life

August 11, 2019
Thanks to The Walking Dead and a generation of horror movies that came before it, most everyone has heard of zombies. But not everyone has heard of zombie debt, which is debt that is dead because it's uncollectible, but can be brought back to life through improper or illegal actions of the debt collector trying to collect it. Here's how it works: once a credit card company or other creditor charges off, i.e., writes off, an account with a balance, such as a credit card account, as uncollectible, the creditor may sell the account, along with thousands of others, to a debt buyer, which then arguably owns the right to try to collect on the account and keep whatever it can get. That may be a… Read Full Post

Debt-Collection Cases Increase in Texas, Despite Its Surging Economy (So What Does That Mean For West Virginia?)

July 30, 2019
I want to share an alarming article in the Houston Chronicle last week that talks about the drastic increase in the number of debt-collection cases filed in Texas courts, even though the Texas economy is doing great. Many of the cases are filed by debt buyers, which are companies that buy debt written off as uncollectible, usually from credit card companies, for pennies on the dollar. That means that the debt buyers don't have to recover a lot of money in a particular case to make money on their purchase of the uncollectible debt. And it also means the debt buyers have no reason not to try to squeeze some money out of the consumers whose debts were written off as uncollectible. According… Read Full Post

Are You Eligible for an Equifax Data Breach Claim?

July 28, 2019
Equifax has agreed to a proposed settlement of the lawsuits resulting from the 2017 data breach that affected 147 million Americans. Here’s the Equifax Data Breach Settlement website, where you can find out if your information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and even your driver’s license number, was affected by the breach. If it was, you're eligible to file a claim, which entitles you to free credit monitoring or, if you already monitor your credit, a cash payment of $125. You may also be eligible for compensation including other cash payments to compensate you for the time you spent investigating or fixing your credit, your out-of-pocket expenses, up to 25% of the… Read Full Post

West Virginia Cracks Down on Consumer Litigation Lenders

July 22, 2019
Consumer litigation funding is controversial. If you’re not familiar with it, it refers to companies that lend money to plaintiffs who have cases in litigation in exchange for repayment when and if the plaintiff receives a recovery. Those companies are different from commercial litigation finance companies, which make loans to litigants and their lawyers in much larger amounts. In West Virginia, legislation regarding consumer litigation financing went into effect on June 5, 2019, and is located at West Virginia Code §§ 46A-6N-1 through 46A-6N-9 as part of the Consumer Credit and Protection Act. The statutes place restrictions on virtually every facet of a litigation financier's operations… Read Full Post
Category: Consumer Law

Frontier Customers Begin Process of Arbitrating Their Claims

July 16, 2019
A recent article in the (Huntington, WV) Herald-Dispatch illustrates clearly why so many corporations require their customers to give up their right to file a lawsuit, either individually or as part of a class action, if they have a dispute with the corporation, and instead engage in arbitration. Arbitration provisions are now standard—and mostly unavoidable—in cell phone service contracts, rental car agreements, credit card contracts, and many more. As explained by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Eyre, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held in 2017 in Citizens Telecoms. Co. v. Sheridan that Frontier Communications customers who had filed a class-action lawsuit alleging… Read Full Post
Category: Consumer Law

Welcome to Our Consumer Law and Personal Injury Website

May 13, 2019
Authored by:
If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck, received intimidating phone calls demanding payment on debts, suffered as a result of inaccuracies on your credit report, or sustained physical injury or financial losses due to the negligence and misconduct of institutions, you might be at a loss how to proceed. At Mehalic Law PLLC, we make it our mission to help our clients level the playing field. The number of ways that consumers in West Virginia are abused and mistreated by banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and financial institutions seems limitless. Attorney Jeffrey V. Mehalic draws on more than 30 years of experience to advocate on behalf of consumers and injury victims. Why… Read Full Post