Arizona Federal Court finds Gurstel Staloch & Chargo Violated FDCPA.

In a recently published decision, a federal Magistrate Judge for the District of Arizona found that Gurstel, Staloch & Chargo, P.A., now known as Gurstel Chargo, P.A., now known as Gurstel Law Firm, P.C., violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) because it failed to ceased communications with the consumer after she notified Gurstel both verbally and in writing that she was represented by a lawyer.  The Court also found that Gurstel violated the FDCPA by continuing to contact the consumer after she notified the firm that she disputed the debt, refused to pay, and demanded that Gurstel cease all communications with her.

A copy of the decision can be reviewed here.

If you have sent a letter (certified return receipt requested) to a debt collection company telling it that you refuse to pay the debt, or that you want it to stop contacting you, but they continue to call and / or write you, then it is violating the FDCPA as Gurstel did in this case.  You would be able to sue the collection agency and recover damages.

If you are an Arizona consumer being harassed or threatened by a debt collector or junk-debt buyer regarding a consumer debt, I can help.  Please call Floyd W. Bybee at 480-756-8822

Arizona Consumer Sues Portfolio Recovery Associates for Collection Harassment

My office recently filed suit on behalf of an Arizona consumer under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) against Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC out of Norfolk, Virginia. Portfolio Recovery is one of many companies known as “Debt Buyers” or “Junk Debt Buyers.” These debt buying companies purchase blocks of debts which are charged off by the original creditors and sold for pennies on the dollar. The debt buyers then try to collect the debts sometimes using collection tactics which violate federal law.

For instance, the Arizona Consumer in this suit alleges that Portfolio Recovery repeatedly called her at work after being told that she cannot accept personal calls at work. They even left a message on one of her co-worker’s voice mail to “pass along” to the debtor.

The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors, including these “Debt Buyers” or “Junk Debt Buyers,” from calling an Arizona consumer at her place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer’s employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such calls.

The FDCPA also forbids debt collectors from contacting third parties, including co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors, except to obtain location information. Calling and leaving a message with a co-worker or other third party is not done with the intent to obtain location information — its to done to harass the Arizona debtor and perhaps embarrassment them into paying a debt they either do not owe or one that they cannot afford to pay at this time.

I have filed many lawsuits over the past several years against collection agencies who participate in these types of illegal collection activities.

If you are an Arizona consumer who has been subjected to these types of collection harassment, please call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 for a free phone consultation.

Maricopa County Superior Court Rules that Arizona Statute of Limitations on Credit Card is Three Years

Arizona Legislature Changes Statute of Limitations on Credit Card Accounts.

The Arizona Legislature recently changed the law to make most credit card collection cases subject to a six year statute of limitations. A.R.S. Sec. 12-548 now states that "if the indebtedness is evidenced by or founded on . . . a credit card. . ." it is subject to the six year statute of limitations.

The following case will no longer provide the persuasive precedent that we have previously enjoyed.


Maricopa County Court Commissioner Eartha K. Washington recently dismissed a collection lawsuit stating that the First USA Bank credit card debt was an open account and therefor subject to the three year statute of limitations under A.R.S. § 12-543. 

DSS Financial Group, LLC filed suit in the Arizona South Mountain Justice Court against an Arizona consumer on a credit card debt it claims it purchased from Unifund CCR Partners, which claims it purchased the debt from Chase bank, the predecessor to First USA Bank.  The case went to trial and the Justice entered judgment in favor of DSS Financial.  The court denied DSS Financial’s request for attorney’s fees and costs.  The consumer appealed Judge Cody Williams judgment to the Maricopa County Superior Court arguing that the statute of limitations had run since the debt had been in default more that three years prior to the suit being filed, and that DSS Financial had not properly shown ownership of the First USA Bank debt.

Commissioner Washington did not address the question of whether DSS Financial or Unifund had purchased the debt from First USA Bank or Chase, but rather ruled that the case should be dismissed based upon the three year statute of limitations.  Commissioner Washington also awarded the Arizona consumer all her attorney’s fees and costs of the litigation. 

Debt buyers are filing hundreds of lawsuits each month against Arizona consumers on accounts they claim to have purchased.  Many of these credit card accounts are not collectable because 1) they are too old, meaning the statute of limitations has run; 2) they have no proof of ownership of the accounts; 3) they cannot prove the balance owed or how the claimed balance was calculated; and 4) the Arizona consumer either does not owe the debt because of identity theft or misuse of a stolen credit card.

These debt buyers file suits against Arizona debtors believing that most consumers (over 90%) will not know their rights, and the debt buyer will be able to obtain judgment by default without having to prove their case. Common debt buyers who file suits in Arizona include:

American Commercial Credit

Arrow Financial 

Asset Acceptance, LLC

CACV of Colorado, LLC

Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC

Centurion Capital Corporation

Debt Buyers Inc.

DSS Financial

Easy Loan Corp.

Faslo Solutions, LLC

First Resolution Investment Corporation

Generation Funding

Hilco Receivables

Hudson & Keyse

LVNV Funding LLC

Midland Credit Management

Midland Funding, LLC

MRC Receivables Corp.

NCO Financial

Palisades Collection LLC

Persolve, LLC

Portfolio Recovery

Resurgent Capital Services

RJF Financial

Unifund CCR Partners 

Western States Financial

World Wide Asset 

There are also many new debt buyers showing up all the time.

If you are an Arizona consumer who has recently been served with a lawsuit by a debt buyer, please call Floyd W. Bybee at the BYBEE LAW CENTER, PLC (480) 756-8822 for a free phone consultation to see if you may have a defense to the lawsuit.