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General News    H3'ed 3/22/11

Debt-Collection Lawyer Is Forced to Close Up His Sleazy Shop

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   1 comment
Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

A prominent debt-collection attorney has been forced to give up his license and close his practice after an investigation sparked by complaints from more than 100 consumers.

Derrick McGavic, of Eugene, Oregon, also had to pay $70,000 to cover the investigative costs for the state attorney general's office. McGavic and Finney was one of the most high volume debt-collection law firms in Oregon and was known for representing national third-party debt collectors, who buy large amounts of defaulted consumer debt for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect.

The debt-collection industry is notorious for shady outfits, but press reports tend to focus on the individuals who sit in cubicles and place one call after another. The McGavic case is significant because it unmasks a big fish, a lawyer who routinely violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).

This story hits close to home here at Legal Schnauzer because my wife and I have encountered a law firm that sounds an awful lot like the McGavic outfit. Ingram and Associates, of Birmingham, was hired by NCO, a large national debt collector based in Pennsylvania, to sue me over a debt I allegedly owed to American Express. The Ingram firm, headed by attorney Angie Ingram, committed numerous FDCPA violations--not to mention fraud and other state-law claims--and we filed a lawsuit that is pending in U.S. district court.

We see at least one major difference between our experience and what happened in Oregon. The Birmingham legal community, including federal judges, has gone to extraordinary and unlawful lengths to protect Angie Ingram. Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, on the other hand, was not afraid to go after a corrupt lawyer, on behalf of consumers. A major hat tip to Mr. Kroger, and may we someday find more public officials like him.

How did the McGavic firm step in deep doo-doo? The  Eugene Register-Guard reports:

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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