Consumer Protection Legal Services
Pine Street Legal, LLC is a consumer protection law firm committed to providing years of experience in legal counsel and litigation services to individual consumers by sole practitioner and litigator Nancy Kanter. The firm represents consumers when their rights under certain federal and state laws passed specifically to protect individuals are violated.

Credit Reporting Inaccuracies

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law, requires companies that prepare credit reports for and about consumers to report accurate information and to use reasonable procedures to insure that accuracy. The credit reporting agencies (CRAs) consumers are most familiar with are Experian, Equifax and Trans Union but there are other CRAs that prepare a variety of specialty credit reports on consumers when consumers apply for credit or a mortgage, apply for a job, seek insurance coverage, rent an apartment or buy a car.

All CRAs are mandated by the requirements of the FCRA. Frequently, CRAs fail this mandate when inaccurate information appears on consumer credit reports. Often consumers do not find out about this until they are denied some type of credit. Credit reporting agencies are required under the law to offer a process for consumers to get inaccuracies on their credit report corrected. The process is often flawed and may not lead to the promised corrections.

Pine Street Legal guides and assists consumers at every stage of a credit reporting problem. Once a consumer learns about a credit report inaccuracy, Pine Street Legal advises the consumer on what needs to be done in the credit report dispute process, a largely self-help step that must be done correctly to insure that the CRA is properly on notice of the inaccuracy. Pine Street Legal also helps identify the type of inaccuracy that is on the credit report such as a mixed or merged credit file, mistaken identity, public record error, inaccurate collection amount, identity theft, inaccurate employment history, inaccurate personal information, to name a few, all of which are critical to identify early in the dispute process. If the dispute process does not resolve the credit reporting inaccuracy, the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides for consumers to seek money damages through litigation. Pine Street Legal will litigate your claim to right this wrong by seeking justice for you and money damages.

Debt Collection Abuse

Victims of abusive debt collection practices have a right to protection from abuse and harassment under the federal law known as The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under this Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to say certain things to consumers when trying to collect a debt. For example, the Act prohibits threatening consumers with violence or harm to their reputation, the use of profanity, causing a telephone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy, abuse or harass consumers, using false, deceptive or misleading representations in connection with the collection of a debt, false representation of the amount or legal status of any debt, false representation that any individual is an attorney, threats to take action that cannot legally be taken or is not intended to be taken and making a representation that the consumer has committed a crime.

Even if you do owe the money, the Act bans debt collectors from subjecting consumers to abuse and harassment. All too often consumers are victimized in violation of the Act anyway.

Pine Street Legal represents consumers who are the subject of debt collection abuse and harassment. If this happens to you, the firm will assist you in stopping the often daily parade of endless telephone calls to your home, place of employment, to family and neighbors. When your rights under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are violated, Pine Street Legal will represent you by filing a lawsuit against debt collectors for money damages.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime that is being committed against every age group throughout the world. It has serious, far reaching consequences that the victim often does not find out about until it is too late.

The consequences of identity theft are multifaceted and occurs from someone stealing and then linking personal credentials like your name and social security number together to make purchases, take money from bank accounts, secure loans, mortgages, debit and credit cards or to gain access to, some thing or place that will leave the victim financially responsible without advance knowledge, choice or benefit.

Most often, use of a different address for billing or receipt of merchandise, money and other benefits keep the victim in the dark while the identity thief is on a free ride ignoring all financial responsibility from the debt linked to the stolen identity. This could, and does, continue indefinitely until some triggering event such as items appearing on credit card statements or a mortgage or home equity loan rejection alerts the victim that something is very, very wrong.

Aside from the financial hardships caused by identity theft, an end result of having someone steal your identity and then use it to your detriment, is that your credit report and credit score can be ruined, resulting in being denied credit or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no reason apparent to the victim. Identity theft causes a long and frustrating road of problems to its victims.

Pine Street Legal has experience in helping victims of identity theft and also in assisting clients with taking measures to avoid identity theft before it happens. The firm works with clients to educate them on the necessary precautions to take in their everyday lives to become aware of the steps all of us need to take to protect ourselves from this crime. Pine Street Legal works diligently with clients fallen prey to these criminals through each step in helping them restore their good names and creditworthiness.

Mortgage Foreclosure Defense

If you have not been able to keep up with your mortgage payments, your mortgage lender may sue you. If this happens, you will be served with a Complaint In Mortgage Foreclosure. The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to take back your house due to nonpayment of the mortgage. The threat of losing your home is always frightening and when it happens, homeowners most often do not know what to do. The best thing to do is to get an attorney experienced in mortgage foreclosure right away to make sure your legal rights are protected from the start.

Pine Street Legal has years of experience in representing individuals who are at risk of losing their home. The Firm has represented homeowners at every stage of the proceedings including mortgage foreclosure mediation programs, sheriff sales and ejectment proceedings. Pine Street Legal works with homeowners to determine the best and most realistic outcome for them whether it be assisting in applying for a modification of the monthly mortgage payment, giving back the house to the lender through a deed in lieu of foreclosure or negotiating an agreement with the lender for the house to be sold before a foreclosure through a short sale if the value of the house is less than the amount owed on the mortgage.

Pine Street Legal will steadfastly and rigorously advocate for your rights in Court throughout the legal proceedings and will provide you with the ongoing legal counsel, advice and support needed in defending a foreclosure.

Credit Card Defense

Default on credit cards can happen. When it does happen, you might feel humiliated, especially if a constable comes to your door and serves you with a lawsuit. This humiliation may make you want to ignore the lawsuit, hoping it will just somehow go away. But it will not. Instead, an ignored credit card lawsuit will end up as a default judgment against you. If you do not defend it, a default judgment may result in your bank account be frozen and your money taken out to pay off the judgment. Having a judgment against you becomes a public record that will go on your credit report, an outcome that will hurt your creditworthiness.

Once a credit card account goes into default, the creditor may sell the account in a large bundle of other defaulted accounts to a third party, often a junk debt buyer, paying pennies on the dollar. Adequate proof of the sale and the account bought in this way is often lacking. Frequently, when the new owner is unable to collect payment due on the account, a lawsuit is filed by a plaintiff you do not know. At trial, that plaintiff will have to prove you not only owe the money but most importantly, that you owe the money to that plaintiff. You will need an attorney to determine if the plaintiff has the necessary proof or not, an area of law Pine Street Legal has years of experience in successfully representing individuals.

Nearby State Courthouses

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