Washington, DC — NARCA, The National Creditors’ Bar Association, the only professional trade association solely dedicated to attorneys who practice creditors’ rights law, applauds the recent action by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Orion Processing. LLC, Bradley James Haskins, World Law Debt Services, LLC, and World Law Processing, LLC. On September 2, 2015, the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida granted the CFPB’s motion and entered a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which included an asset freeze, injunctive relief, and other equitable relief against the defendants. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a Complaint under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 and the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act based on Defendants’ violations of the CFPA and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
The CFPB alleges “Defendants’ marketers lure consumers into signing up for debt settlement services by falsely promising that consumers will be represented by local attorneys and that they will negotiate with consumers’ creditors to settle their debts. Defendants are debt settlement veterans who joined forces after federal law changed to prevent fraud by banning the taking of up-front fees before settling consumers’ debts. In an apparent attempt to circumvent that new law, Defendants began claiming that they provide legal representation,” but then continued charging consumers up-front fees for debt relief services.
Since October 27, 2010, over 21,ooo consumers across the country-representing 99% of the consumers who enrolled with World Law-have paid more than $67 million in unlawful advance fees to Defendants, who ultimately provide little or none of the services promised to consumers. The agency sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, rescission or reform action of contracts, the refund of monies paid, restitution, and disgorgement of ill-gotten monies, the appointment of a temporary Receiver, and other equitable relief as well as civil money penalties.
NARCA’s commitment to insuring that creditors’ rights attorneys be held to the same high level of professional conduct required and expected when practicing law. NARCA’s law firm members are licensed attorneys who abide by and commit to the Rules of Professional Responsibility in their respective states as well as NARCA’s core principles of being PROFESSIONAL, ETHICAL and RESPONSIBLE. Joann Needleman, NARCA’s Board President states, “It is incumbent on attorneys who practice in the field of creditors’ rights law to lead by example. NARCA members continue to provide the leadership necessary to demonstrate these qualities and actions in policy and in practice.”
The attorneys of NARCA member firms are dedicated to ensuring that the legal profession maintains the highest rigors of legal and ethical integrity. The failure of any law firm or attorney to uphold their ethical duty or responsibility denigrates the entire profession. NARCA raises that bar by mandating annual CLE requirements in the field of creditors rights for all of its attorneys. NARCA’s Grievance Committee is charged with reviewing the conduct of any member when necessary, who fails to strictly adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. In those instances where warranted, NARCA will issue the appropriate sanction and penalty.
NARCA is a nationwide professional trade association of over 650 skilled creditors rights law firms and in-house counsel of creditors. NARCA members are committed to the fair and ethical treatment of all participants in the debt collection process and are required to adhere to NARCA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. As licensed practicing attorneys, members are also governed by state bar association Rules of Professional Conduct and must practice law in a manner consistent with their responsibilities as officers of the court.