I am saddened to announce that our founding Partner, Clayton S. Morrow, passed away on September 7, 2020. As an attorney he was respected by all who knew him, be it friend or foe. He was at the top of the consumer law field for a very long time and was responsible for many precedential consumer cases in Pennsylvania, cases that are cited all across the state in courtrooms every day. Its only been a few days but I miss talking to my friend, getting advice from my partner, and learning from my mentor. Clay was all of that and more to me. I cherish the 10 years that we were partners and I thank you for everything that you’ve done for me both personally and with our firm. I’ll miss the laughing, the arguing and everything in between. Life will go on but it will certainly not be the same. Godspeed Clay.
Pennsylvania’s Finest Consumer Attorneys
At Morrow & Artim, we handle consumer law cases on a daily basis, just like the one that is facing you right now. We have found that most people do not know what a consumer law case is, they just know that they have a problem and don’t know where to turn. Fortunately, you have found this website and have found Consumer Attorneys in Pennsylvania who are willing to fight to protect your rights and interests.
A Consumer case can range from being sued by a collection agency on a credit card case, to being harassed by a debt collector, to needing assistance with a student loan issue, to buying a “lemon” car or truck. In each of these instances, for the most part, an individual like you (the consumer) is being faced with an issue that is either caused by or is being pursued by a large corporation. This is the historical “David vs. Goliath” scenario where the big company is picking on the little individual. The large credit card company suing the individual who had a job loss. The large multinational car company delivering a lemon motor vehicle. The large bank unwilling to lower a student loan payment. The big bad collection agency calling your neighbors and family or threatening you with jail time or wage garnishment. The list goes on and on.
At Morrow & Artim, we choose sides, and we always choose the side of the little guy. We love picking on bullies…
There is an abundance of information on this site, which is designed specifically to ease your mind and let you know that help is out there, that you are not lost, alone, and without hope. Click on any of the links below to find out more info about your specific problem and how to get started with fixing your legal issue. On credit card, debt collector harassment and vehicle cases, we always offer a free, no obligation case review. We are based in Pittsburgh, but we can handle cases throughout most of Pennsylvania. Call or email today to find out if we can help.
Credit Card or Collection Agency Lawsuits
If you are facing a Credit Card or Collection Agency lawsuit, we can help. We defend dozens of these every month in the Court of Common Pleas and at the local District Justice/Magistrate. These cases, when initially filed, are almost always defective. We hold debt collectors’ feet to the fire and force them to prove every last detail of your claim. In almost every instance, they are unable to do that…. resulting in a victory for our clients.
If the claim is filed by a Junk Debt Buyer, our typical response is to defend, defend, defend. There are very few circumstances where someone should pay, or should consider paying, a junk debt buyer. We are able to defeat these claims almost every time.
If the claim is filed by an original creditor, then there are a few avenues to take. Defending is an option, and settling is another option. We look at each case in detailed fashion to determine the best course for our clients. Factors that can affect whether to defend or settle an original creditor case include the amount of the claim, the credit card company involved, the court in which the claim is filed, and the attorney/law firm who is representing that company. We deal with these claims every day and we know all of the collectors so we can assess what your best move might be in an initial consultation (which can be performed over the phone for most clients).
The cost (fee) to defend these cases is usually a flat fee or a derivation of a flat fee. If the claim is filed at the local Magistrate, then a simple flat fee structure is in place. We make these as economical as possible for our clients to defend. If the claim is filed in the Court of Common Pleas, then the fee is a bit higher because the amount of work to be performed is greater. On some larger cases, or cases that require several court appearances, we charge a “stage” flat fee wherein the client pays per each stage of litigation. We have found that this is the most cost effective measure for our clients as they are able to determine exactly what their legal fees will be prior to retaining us. We don’t like guessing and our client should never have to guess about our fees.
People Who Contact a Consumer Attorney After Being Sued by a Junk Debt Buyer
Percent of the Foregoing Who Hire a Consumer Attorney to Defend Them
Percent of Those Who Win After Hiring Our Firm
Percent of Individuals Who Lose Their Cases Because They Represent Themselves
Sued by a Debt Collector? We Can Help.
Debt Collector Harassment / FDCPA Claims
It often starts with a phone call or a letter. The man who is calling you tells you that you owe a debt to Midland Credit Management or Portfolio Recovery Associates or some other junk debt buyer. You have no idea who these companies even are, and you get scared. When you ask for information, they tell you to pay right now or there will be trouble. You get even more scared. When you hesitate, they threaten to garnish your wages or have you charged with fraud or they tell you that a constable will be there by 5 p.m. to serve you with papers. This is the crux of debt collector harassment. These calls, like the one I just described, happen every day and they are illegal.
If you’re smart, and you must be because you were smart enough to find this website, you will call a consumer attorney and have a consultation immediately. These threats like the ones mentioned above are a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a law that protects consumers (people like you and me) who are harassed by these debt collectors and junk debt buyers. The law says that you are entitled to bring a claim against the collector and that you are entitled to up to $1000 in what are called “statutory damages”. (this means that they violated the law so they pay a penalty, basically). Under the FDCPA, you are also entitled to reasonable attorney fees. That is the real strength in the law. The debt collector must pay your legal fees. Think about that….they pay us to sue them. It’s a powerful law, wouldn’t you agree? We use this law every single day at our firm to protect our clients and to right wrongs that have been committed. In most cases, our clients never have to see the inside of a courtroom. Debt collectors know that when we file Fair Debt Collection Violation claims, our claims are good. They often realize that there is no sense in fighting a losing battle.
Harassed by a Debt Collector?
Lemon Law for Vehicles
We handle many defective vehicle claims, both New and Used vehicles. If you have purchased a new car that is defective, then the Pennsylvania Lemon Law is the way to go. It’s a fairly strong law that allows you to bring a claim against the manufacturer (PA Lemon Law is NOT applicable to dealers or used cars). If your car/truck/SUV has a defect that has occurred on 3 or more occasions, or, if it has been in the repair shop for 30 days or more (cumulative, not necessarily consecutive), then you might be ripe to bring a lemon law claim. There are other qualifiers, namely that the vehicle problems must be reported at least once in the first year or first 12,000 miles and the vehicle must be a personal use vehicle registered in Pennsylvania. The law provides that the manufacturer must replace the vehicle, re-purchase the vehicle, or provide cash compensation, and it also provides for recovery of legal fees. This means that any claim that is filed under the lemon law is essentially free….that is, no money out of your pocket.
Another law that we have used frequently is the New Motor Vehicle Damage Act. This law applies to dealers who sell you a “New” vehicle that has prior damage that they failed to disclose. This most often occurs when the dealer gets a new vehicle from the manufacturer and then it suffers damage while on the dealer’s lot or when the dealer “trades” into a specific vehicle before selling it to you. If the damage is more than $500 or 3% of the purchase price (whichever is greater) then you might have a strong claim under the Act.
If you have purchased a slightly used vehicle that still has manufacturer’s warranty left and you encounter a defect or problem, then you still can bring a claim against the manufacturer under a federal law called the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. This law is similar to the lemon law but it does not have the age or mileage restrictions. That is, the Mag Moss Act applies to new and used vehicles, there is no mileage restriction and it still provides for recovery of attorney fees. This law applies to any vehicle that has a written warranty.
If you purchased an older vehicle that doesn’t have any manufacturer warranty left, then there are other laws that may benefit you, but they might not be quite as strong as the Lemon Law or the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law can apply to many vehicle cases, and there are other laws that cover things like: failure to disclose that the vehicle was a rental…failure to disclose that the vehicle was in a flood, or had frame damage, or had serious transmission problems, or was a lemon. Certain cases may also result in an auto fraud claim against the selling dealer where they mislead you about the condition, mileage or prior use of the vehicle.
Driving a Lemon?
Student Loan Law
If you cannot afford the payment on your Federal Student Loan, there are programs available that can lower your payment based upon your income. These include ICR, IBR, PAYE and REPAYE. These programs help set a repayment schedule that is based upon your income, not on what the lender says you should be paying.
If you have a federal student loan and you are having trouble paying or are in delinquency or default status, we may be able to help. If your loan is in default, you have the right to rehabilitate the loan based upon your documented ability to pay (NOT what the debt collector says you must pay) by paying 9 monthly on time payments over a 10 month period. Other options such as loan consolidation may be available to you as well.
With Federal student loans, if you go into default status then you can be subject to Administrative Wage Garnishment. This is a means whereby the lender can garnish your wages WITHOUT having a hearing. In order to do this, they must notify you at least 30 days in advance and they must give you an opportunity to pay the debt or rehabilitate the loan. We can assist with this process.
Private Student Loans are a different animal. There typically is no income based repayment program for these private loans. Sometimes we can help negotiate with the lender based upon a hardship status. In many instances, we are seeing private student loans result in lawsuits being filed against the borrowers. National Collegiate Trust is a company that has been purchasing defaulted private student loans and filing claims on them. We have successfully defended many of these National Collegiate cases and can assist you in this endeavor.
Student Loan Problems?
Why Hire Morrow & Artim, P.C.?
We handle Consumer Law matters 24/7/365, meaning every day, all day, all year long. It’s what we do, it’s our passion. Whether its defending a debt buyer lawsuit, handling a lemon law claim, assisting on a student loan matter, or suing a debt collector for violating debt collection or telephone laws, we love our jobs and we’re pretty good at them. How do we know this? Results and Referrals. As far as the results go, we’ll match our record up with anyone. We defend between 25 to 30 credit card cases each month. We lose 3-4 of them, per year. We file FDCPA claims against debt collectors and frankly, they rarely want to battle with us in court. We win, and we win big, because we take these cases just as personal as you do. A loss is like a gut punch to us, we don’t accept defeat on our cases. As far as referrals, we are the go to firm for many attorneys who have clients with consumer law matters that they just cannot handle. Attorneys in the Pittsburgh area and beyond have been referring consumer cases to us for years because they want to make sure that their clients’ rights and interests are protected.
Clay Morrow and Greg Artim opened the firm in 2010. We had each been practicing as solo consumer lawyers and decided that we needed to collaborate and form a powerful law firm. Debt collectors were taking it up a notch and sometimes you need the power of a strong firm behind you. As our caseload expanded beyond what we could handle efficiently, we added another consumer attorney, Matt Becker, to help us fight the cause.
Our firm has also been at the forefront of establishing precedence in the courts of this Commonwealth. Clay Morrow was the lead attorney on the most widely cited credit card case in Pennsylvania, Worldwide Asset v. Stern (Attorney Morrow handled the companion case). In Worldwide, renowned Judge R. Stanton Wettick authored an opinion that changed the way that debt collection cases were handled. After argument from Attorney Morrow, the court ruled that the debt buyers needed to produce a litany of evidence in all credit card collection cases or else they would not be able to proceed to trial. The Worldwide case is cited in Common Pleas and Magistrate Courts across Pennsylvania.
The firm has obtained other notable decisions regarding defective notices (Arrow v. Hairston), Illegal requests for attorney fees by debt buyers (Daniels v. Davis) and standards of evidence required in student loan debt buyer cases (NCT v. Vargo). These cases are cited by Judges and Attorneys in many courts here in PA.
At Morrow & Artim, P.C. we offer free consultations on most cases. If your issue involves a Credit Card Lawsuit, Debt Collector Harassment, Vehicle Lemon Law or Student Loan Lawsuit Defense, there is no cost for the initial consultation. Call our office today at 412-823-8003. In most cases, an in office appointment is not necessary. We will treat you with the dignity and respect that you deserve.