Rhode Island Debt Collection Laws: Courts are “Old School” in The Ocean State

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Today, March 29, 2013, The National List of attorneys published the white paper on debt collection law in Rhode Island, written by partner Neill B. Lyon, of Hodosh, Lyon & Hammer, Ltd. Their practice is 99 percent dedicated to debt collection. The focus has been the same for well over twenty years. The firm has been a member of The National List of Attorneys for three years.

Hodosh, Lyon & Hammer have clients that place hundreds of cases monthly, as well as clients that place only a few each year. They handle a broad variety of cases: retail, commercial, and medical collections. They currently have two partner attorneys, Neill B. Lyon and Scott L. Hammer. Neill has been practicing since 1987 and Scott since 1996. Both partners have participated in bar association and court committees, as well as being founding members of the Rhode Island Creditors’ Bar Association.

The author of the paper, Neill Lyon, received his J.D. from the New England School of Law in Boston, MA. He has been working in the debt collection industry since 1990. He affirms, “The vast majority of both the bar and the debtors I interact with are wonderful people. Some are just at a difficult point in their lives. Interacting with my clients, attorneys and debtors on a human level is what I enjoy most about my job. This has nothing to do with an account or a case, just people.”

Neill Lyon

Neill Lyon

One thing Neill thinks creditors should know about debt collection in Rhode Island is, “The Courts are ‘Old School.’ Everything remains on paper. Records are not available on computer, nor can they be searched that way. If you need a court document, expect to take a drive to the courthouse. If the file is more than a couple years old, you’ll need to drive to the Court Records center.” Those seeking to file a claim in RI also might be interested to know that, “While it is a crime, the passing and failure to cover a bad check also subjects the payer to civil penalties. The recipient of a bad check is required to provide a very specific notice to the payer by certified mail at least thirty days in advance of the filing of a civil action.”

The firm was awarded the TRAK America Small Market Partner of the Year Award in 2012. Outside of work, both partners raise funds for “Canine Companions for Independence,” and they match employees’ donations. They also participate in Resurgent’s “Bikes for Kids” program.

Neil is a member of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA), the RI Bar Assn., and the RI Creditors’ Bar Assn., where he currently serves as Director. He and his wife of 25 years and their two dogs live in West Warwick, RI. His lifelong passion has been fishing, “any type of fishing, anywhere.” He shared that his law partner, Scott, has triplets.

The National List thanks Neill for submitting this paper and for telling us something about himself and his firm. You can access the paper at http://www.nationallist.com/white_papers/rhodeisland.

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