Category:

FCRT : Wells Fargo Scandal May Have Hurt Consumer’s Credit Scores

September 27th, 2016 by

Adam Deutsch, Esq.

In this episode of the Financial Consumer Rights Talk, host Adam Deutsch, Esq., of the law firm Denbeaux and Denbeaux,  discusses how the Wells Fargo banking scandal may have impacted consumer’s credit scores.

Wells Fargo was caught once again committing systematic fraud upon its customers, every day consumers like you.  This time, the fraud was uncovered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau providing proof that government can provide meaningful representation and protection to constituents.  The facts are startling:

  • Wells Fargo opened as many as 1.5 million unauthorized deposit accounts and 560,000 unauthorized credit-card accounts charging approximately $2.4 million in fees to the victims.
  • Over a five year period Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees who were known to have created accounts without client authorization.
  • According to New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, at least 2,673 New Jersey residents are victims of the scam.

Whenever this type of scandal breaks into the news there are attorneys that rush to bring a class action suit.  Consumers typically have the right to opt out of class action suits, and doing so may result in the consumer’s ability to obtain more monetary relief by suing the bank as an individual.  I believe this is particularly true for victims who had negative information reported on their credit reports as a result of the Wells Fargo fraud.  These consumers have suffered not only the immediate out of pocket expense of paying unauthorized fees, their ability to obtain financing for the purchases of homes, cars, or higher education may have been greatly impacted.

Denbeaux & Denbeaux has a proven track record obtaining relief on behalf of individuals against financial institutions.  If you believe you are a victim of Wells Fargo’s latest scheme, contact us and we will help you determine the best course of action to repair the harm done and ensure you are compensated fully.

Bank’s Failure to Comply With HAMP Trial Plan and Offer a Permanent Modification is Basis for Suit

September 14th, 2016 by

In Arias v. Elite Mortgage Group, Inc., 2015 N.J. Super. LEXIS 13 (App. Div., Jan. 23, 2015), the Appellate Division addressed for the first time whether borrowers completing a Trial Payment Plan under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program (“HAMP”) have a cause of action for Breach of Contract or under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”) claim against the bank when the promised Permanent Modification is not offered after the trial period payments are made by the borrower.

Joshua Denbeaux, Esq. , on HAMP “the servicing industry is not going to be permitted in New Jersey to breach contracts and make false inducement promises to New Jersey homeowners without the court stepping in and protecting its citizens.”

Joshua Denbeaux of Denbeaux & Denbeaux in Westwood, N.J., whose chief area of practice is mortgage foreclosure defense said he saw the decision as the Appellate Division “announcing to the world that the servicing industry is not going to be permitted in New Jersey to breach contracts and make false inducement promises to New Jersey homeowners without the court stepping in and protecting its citizens.”

We have successfully fought against foreclosure and collection actions, obtained loan modifications and/or obtained other relief for our clients from banks and loan servicers including: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Nationstar, Ocwen, Fannie Mae, Ditech Greentree Servcing, Countrywide, and more.

CFPB Proposes New Requirement on Debt Collectors

September 13th, 2016 by

CFPB Proposes New Requirement on Debt Collectors Targeted to Educate Consumers of the Risks in Debt Collection Litigation, by Adam Deutsch, Esq.

Adam Deutsch, Esq.

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) released a report of proposed rules intended to clarify the scope of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which in part governs the conduct of third party debt collectors.  Buried in among the proposals is a potential game changing disclosure requirement mandating collectors to educate their consumer targets of the consequences that can result from debt collection litigation.

The CFPB cites a now outdated 2010 report from the Federal Trade Commission, showing that as much as 95% of all debt collection lawsuits are not contested by the consumer.  The consequences of these judgments run deep.  ProPublica reported in May 2016 that well over 4 million Americans are subjected to wage garnishmentsresulting from judgments to enforce consumer debts.

The volume of debt collection cases is truly staggering.  The same ProPublica report shows that in New Jersey an astonishing 48% of all civil court judgments in 2011 were entered in debt collection cases.  The numbers continue to go up.

Under the proposed rule, debt collectors would be required to provide a written litigation disclosure in all written and oral communications with the debtor, that set forth the (1) collectors intention to sue, (2) a court could rule against the consumer if they fail to defend a lawsuit, (3) and that additional information about defending collection lawsuits is available on the CFPB website.

These disclosures can be viewed as part of a debtors “bill of rights.”  There is potential for the disclosures to lower the number of uncontested judgments, which is a good thing.  Today, many consumers do not contest debt collection actions because they believe they are in the process of negotiating an out of court settlement with the collector.  A debtor may trust that the collector is working with them, only to later find that no agreement is reached and wages are being garnished.  The disclosures should help combat this problem.

The disclosures could be made stronger however.  For example, the disclosures could (1) advise the debtors that they have a legal right to contest the collection action; (2) that the process of negotiating an agreement with the collector outside of court does not necessarily prevent the collector from simultaneously pursuing a lawsuit or obtaining a judgment; and (3) if a collection lawsuit is successfully defended, the debtor’s legal fees may be paid for by the collector.  The third additional proposal is key.  For many debtors, the belief that legal fees are insurmountable prevents them from making any effort to defend a collection action.  Where a debt collector uses any false information, fails to provide required disclosures to the debtor, or otherwise fails to comply with a section of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the debt collector becomes liable to the debtor for actual damages, a statutory fine of up to $1,000.00 and the debt collector must pay the debtor’s legal fees and court costs.

Proposed rules from the CFPB are a great start, but should be strengthened even more.  Too often, the information used by third party debt collectors is inaccurate as to the interest rates, amounts owed or even identity of the debtor.  Yet, because of basic system wide hurdles placed in front of the debtors up to 95% of all collection lawsuits result in uncontested judgments.  In these cases, the Courts not only rubber stamps the debt collector’s request for judgment without analyzing its right to collect, the Court acts as a broker and allows the judgment to be collected by garnishing wages directly from the consumer’s paycheck.  The new rules cannot come soon enough.  The rules to protect consumers are already in place, the new proposals will go a long way to educating consumers of their rights before the long lasting damage of a lawsuit judgment is obtained.

Marcia Denbeaux Memorial Service Sat 9/10 1pm, St. Pauls Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road, Montvale, NJ

September 8th, 2016 by

Marcia Wood Denbeaux
March 12, 1944 to August 27, 2016
Founding Partner, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, Westwood, NJ

Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road in Montvale. A reception will follow at the Denbeaux home, 3 Werimus Road in Woodcliff Lake.

We look forward to celebrating Marcia’s life with you on Saturday. Here are the details for the day:

  • 1 p.m.:Memorial Service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Rd. Montvale NJ
  • Following the service, a reception at the Denbeaux home at 3 Werimus Rd, Woodcliff Lake NJ

Parking: You can drop off passengers at the house and park in the neighborhood across the road.

 If you see guests who look too frail to walk from their parked car, please give them a ride to the drop off area. This map outlines the area where you can find on-street parking. Please be careful crossing the main road.  MAP FOR SATURDAY’S EVENTS.

Safe travels,

The Denbeaux family

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to two organizations that Marcia proudly supported:
Pascack Mental Health Center , 114 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07655 (201) 391-1355 and
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road, Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 391-3181 in Montvale.

Marcia Wood Denbeaux
March 12, 1944 to August 27, 2016
Founding Partner, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, Westwood, NJ

Marcia Denbeaux : A Celebration of Life With Family and Friends

September 2nd, 2016 by

Founder of Denbeaux and Denbeaux

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road in Montvale. A reception will follow at the Denbeaux home, 3 Werimus Road in Woodcliff Lake.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to two organizations that Marcia proudly supported:
Pascack Mental Health Center , 114 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07655 (201) 391-1355 and
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road, Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 391-3181 in Montvale.

Marcia Wood Denbeaux
March 12, 1944 to August 27, 2016
Founding Partner, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, Westwood, NJ

Marcia Wood Denbeaux, 72, a longtime resident of Woodcliff Lake, died Saturday, August 27 of cancer.

The daughter of Helen and Cyrus Wood, Marcia was born on March 12, 1944 in Boston and grew up outside Philadelphia. She met her future husband, Mark Denbeaux, at the College of Wooster in Ohio. They married on August 28, 1965, and moved to Woodcliff Lake in 1972.

Marcia completed her undergraduate studies at New York University and earned her law degree in 1983 from Rutgers University. She founded the law firm, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, in 1989 in Westwood, New Jersey, leading the firm with her son, Joshua. She primarily practiced matrimonial and family law, real estate law, elder law and estate planning and administration. The firm itself, however, has become well known for its work in mortgage foreclosure defense and against predatory lenders — work for which Marcia’s support and consult was always available — because she knew how important home was for her clients.

Above all, Marcia viewed her role as an advocate – as an empowered social worker first, and as a litigator second. Not satisfied with just winning cases, she wanted to make her clients’ lives better. And that she did.

Marcia was a member of the New Jersey Bar Association, the Bergen County Bar Association, and Women Lawyers in Bergen.

Marcia Denbeaux is remembered by many with appreciation for her work in the area of domestic violence advocacy. She was a member of the Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel in Bergen County for nearly two decades. She was recognized by the State of New Jersey General Assembly 37th Legislative District, the New Jersey Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Director of Human Services, and the Bergen County Executives for her 20 years of pro bono service for the Domestic Violence Legal Advocates Project, for which she served as a legal representative at restraining order hearings. She also received the Carol Dervitz Service to the Community Award for Dedicated Service to Victims of Domestic Violence in Bergen County (2000).

She also received awards for her leadership in other areas of community service, and was given both the Bergen County Bar Foundation Community Service Award (1996) and the NJAMHA Community Mental Health Leadership Award (1997).

Marcia also served on the Woodcliff Lake Borough Council since 2000, working across a wide spectrum of committees, including the Board of Health and Mental Health, Building and Grounds, the Library, Public Information, Ordinances and most recently, the Zoning Board. She also served on the Board of the Pascack Mental Health Center.

A redhead who stood just over 5 feet tall, Marcia was a petite powerhouse of love and kindness. She opened her arms to everyone and pulled them into her embrace. To many, she was a second mother.

Marcia is survived by her loving husband, Mark, and her family: Joshua and Sally Denbeaux of Hillsdale, Abigail and Nathan Kahl of Hillsdale, Gregory and Cathleen Denbeaux of Albany, New York, and Marcelle Higgs of Woodcliff Lake, her mother Helen Wood of Boulder, Colorado, her sisters Caroline Wood of Berkeley, California, Janet Wood Dillingham of Denver, Colorado, Beverly Thurber of Fort Collins, Colorado, her grandchildren Jacob, Luke, Isaac, Benjamin, Eleanor, Sarah, Katherine and Annah, and many adored nieces and nephews and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to two organizations that Marcia proudly supported: Pascack Mental Health Center , 114 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07655 (201) 391-1355 and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road, Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 391-3181 in Montvale.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road in Montvale. A reception will follow at the Denbeaux home, 3 Werimus Road in Woodcliff Lake.

Arrangements by Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, N.J. 07675, (201) 664-0292.

Marcia Denbeaux Esq., A Remembrance and Celebration of Life

September 1st, 2016 by

Founder of Denbeaux and Denbeaux

Marcia Denbeaux, lawyer dedicated to helping Bergen County domestic violence victims, dies at 72.

Marcia Wood Denbeaux
March 12, 1944 to August 27, 2016
Founding Partner, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, Westwood, NJ

Marcia Wood Denbeaux, 72, a longtime resident of Woodcliff Lake, died Saturday, August 27 of cancer.

The daughter of Helen and Cyrus Wood, Marcia was born on March 12, 1944 in Boston and grew up outside Philadelphia. She met her future husband, Mark Denbeaux, at the College of Wooster in Ohio. They married on August 28, 1965, and moved to Woodcliff Lake in 1972.

Marcia completed her undergraduate studies at New York University and earned her law degree in 1983 from Rutgers University. She founded the law firm, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, in 1989 in Westwood, New Jersey, leading the firm with her son, Joshua. She primarily practiced matrimonial and family law, real estate law, elder law and estate planning and administration.

The firm itself, however, has become well known for its work in mortgage foreclosure defense and against predatory lenders — work for which Marcia’s support and consult was always available — because she knew how important home was for her clients.

Above all, Marcia viewed her role as an advocate – as an empowered social worker first, and as a litigator second. Not satisfied with just winning cases, she wanted to make her clients’ lives better. And that she did.

Marcia was a member of the New Jersey Bar Association, the Bergen County Bar Association, and Women Lawyers in Bergen.

Marcia Denbeaux is remembered by many with appreciation for her work in the area of domestic violence advocacy. She was a member of the Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel in Bergen County for nearly two decades. She was recognized by the State of New Jersey General Assembly 37th Legislative District, the New Jersey Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Director of Human Services, and the Bergen County Executives for her 20 years of pro bono service for the Domestic Violence Legal Advocates Project, for which she served as a legal representative at restraining order hearings. She also received the Carol Dervitz Service to the Community Award for Dedicated Service to Victims of Domestic Violence in Bergen County (2000).

She also received awards for her leadership in other areas of community service, and was given both the Bergen County Bar Foundation Community Service Award (1996) and the NJAMHA Community Mental Health Leadership Award (1997).

Marcia also served on the Woodcliff Lake Borough Council since 2000, working across a wide spectrum of committees, including the Board of Health and Mental Health, Building and Grounds, the Library, Public Information, Ordinances and most recently, the Zoning Board. She also served on the Board of the Pascack Mental Health Center.

A redhead who stood just over 5 feet tall, Marcia was a petite powerhouse of love and kindness. She opened her arms to everyone and pulled them into her embrace. To many, she was a second mother.

Marcia is survived by her loving husband, Mark, and her family: Joshua and Sally Denbeaux of Hillsdale, Abigail and Nathan Kahl of Hillsdale, Gregory and Cathleen Denbeaux of Albany, New York, and Marcelle Higgs of Woodcliff Lake, her mother Helen Wood of Boulder, Colorado, her sisters Caroline Wood of Berkeley, California, Janet Wood Dillingham of Denver, Colorado, Beverly Thurber of Fort Collins, Colorado, her grandchildren Jacob, Luke, Isaac, Benjamin, Eleanor, Sarah, Katherine and Annah, and many adored nieces and nephews and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to two organizations that Marcia proudly supported: Pascack Mental Health Center , 114 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07655 (201) 391-1355 and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road, Montvale, NJ 07645 (201) 391-3181 in Montvale.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 4 Woodland Road in Montvale. A reception will follow at the Denbeaux home, 3 Werimus Road in Woodcliff Lake.

Arrangements by Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, N.J. 07675, (201) 664-0292.