Mississippi Debt Collection Laws: Feels Like Coming Home

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Today, March 8, 2013, The National List of Attorneys published the white paper on debt collection law in Mississippi, submitted by Christopher J. Couch, J. Ward Conville, Benjamin G. Lambert & Michael D. Troendle of Couch, Conville & Blitt. The firm has been a member of The National List since 2008.

Couch, Conville & Blitt (“CCB”) is a multi-state law firm, which focuses primarily upon a consumer and commercial legal collection and creditors’ rights practice.  CCB represents a variety of local, regional and national businesses, including several publicly traded entities and some of the nation’s largest lenders.  The Firm serves as a regional legal resource for many of its clients, with its offices in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Tennessee.

CCB also submitted the Louisiana white paper, so like the state slogan “Feels Like Coming Home,” you might feel like you’re “coming home” to CCB when you read this blog. We think it’s worth repeating what Christopher J. Couch said in the LA blog.  “Many people want to satisfy their obligations with my clients. Working with my clients to make that happen is extremely rewarding. I love getting a thank you note from the opposing party stating how glad they are to have satisfied their obligation with my client and thanking me or a member of my firm for treating them with respect.”

Chris Couch

Chris Couch

Christopher J. Couch is a founding member of Couch, Conville & Blitt. He attended law school at LSU and has been working in the debt collection industry for 21 years. He manages the firm and its multi-state legal collection practice. His practice further focuses in the areas of Creditors’ Rights, Commercial Litigation, General Business Counselling, and Collateral Lending. He represents a wide variety of clients, including collateral lenders, national banks, finance lessors, credit grantors, debt purchasers, collection agencies, local corporations, and several publicly traded corporations.

J. Ward Conville is a founding member of Couch, Conville & Blitt. He received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He has worked in the debt collection industry for 13 years. Eighty percent of his practice of law is dedicated to debt collection. He is the lead litigation attorney for the states of Mississippi and Tennessee. His practice focuses upon foreclosures, replevin, and a variety of commercial and consumer legal collection matters. He says that debt collection work has taught him to “look for win-win solutions.”

Benjamin G. Lambert is an Associate Litigator. He graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law, where he served as President of the Trial Advocacy Program. His practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Michael D. Troendle is an Associate Litigator. He graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans Law School. His practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditors’ defense. The thing he enjoys most about his job with Couch, Conville & Blitt is that “every case is different and challenging in its own way.”

Ward Conville pointed out that “MS has an unusual one year statute of limitations on deficiency actions.” From the paper we also learned that MS statutes require certain actions in order for a party to recover attorney’s fees, when they do not have a contract that specifically allows them. Without a contract that includes them, attorney fees can be triggered by compliance with the MS Open Account Statute. It requires that an itemized statement of account be sent to the consumer, along with an initial demand letter. If the consumer does not object or question the statement of account, when the suit is filed with a supporting affidavit, the creditor may be entitled to reasonable attorney fees at the discretion of the court. MS case law has held that attorney fees are reasonable up to 33 percent of the balance, as long as the fees do not exceed $5,000.00. Most Mississippi Courts will want to hold a hearing if a creditor requests attorney fees greater than $5,000.00.

Members of the firm have published and lectured extensively on a variety of legal and business issues, including creditors’ rights, law office management, effective case management, legal collections, disaster planning and recovery, FDCPA, FCRA, GLBA and other laws impacting the lending and collection industry.  Additionally, the firm is deeply involved in the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA). Chris was Parliamentarian to the President of NARCA 2008 – 2009 and is currently Co-Chairman of NARCA’s Future Leadership Committee. Ward is also a member of the Mississippi Creditors Rights Attorneys Association. The firm also belongs to the Commerical Law League of America (CLLA). Several attorneys in the firm have been recognized as local and national leaders in the practice of legal collections.

The National List thanks Chris, Ward, Benjamin and Michael for submitting this paper and allowing us to get to know them a little better. You can access the paper at http://www.nationallist.com/white_papers/mississippi.


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