6/25/16

State Road Auto Sales: Class Certified

On June 21, 2016, the Suffolk Superior Court granted class certification in the case of Grant v. State Road Auto Sales, Inc., (Civil No. 14-3292).   This lawsuit alleges that State Road Auto Sales employed a standard auto leasing contract which violated the Consumer Leasing Act and Massachusetts law in multiple respects.  Counsel for the plaintiff are Kenneth D. Quat of Quat Law Offices and Deborah G. Roher.
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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

Liberty Mutual MedPay Settlement Receives Final Approval

On June 22, 2016, the Suffolk Superior Court granted final approval to the class action settlement reached in the case of Golchin v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co.,. (Civil No. 15-0695).  The settlement, reached after eight years of litigation (including two successful appeals to the Supreme Judicial Court) provides benefits for insured persons who may have been wrongfully denied Medical Payments ("MedPay") benefits by Liberty Mutual because their claimed expenses had been covered by health insurance.  Class counsel were Kenneth D. Quat of Quat Law Offices, and Elliot Beresen of Manelis & Beresen.
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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

6/13/16

John Oliver Skewers Debt Buying Industry, Forgives $15 Million of Stale Medical Debt

Watch John Oliver's recent take-down of the debt buying industry where, among other things, he purchases $15 million in defaulted medical debt for $60,000 and then forgives it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c
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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

6/9/16

Liberty Mutual Class Action Settlement Update

A hearing to obtain final approval of the class action settlement in Golchin v. Liberty Mutual is scheduled for June 22, 2016,, in Suffolk Superior Court.  The settlement provides a mechanism for eligible class members to obtain Medical Payments ("MedPay") benefits which may have been wrongfully denied, or, in the alternative, to receive a fixed payment.  This case has been pending since 2008 and was kept alive through two successful appeals to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  Counsel for the settlement class are Kenneth D. Quat of Quat Law Offices, and Elliot Beresen.
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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

7/9/15

Debt Buyer Class Action Updates: LVNV Funding and Midland Funding

On March 30 2015, the Suffolk Superior Court denied the motion of LVNV Funding to dismiss the class action lawsuit challenging its right to collect consumer debts from Massachusetts residents without a license. The complaint alleges that LVNV must be licensed by the Division of Banks regardless of the fact that it owns the debts which it seeks to collect. The case seeks to recover all monies which LVNV has collected from Massachusetts consumers from August 22, 2010 through the present, as well as seeking other relief such as voiding court judgments and dismissing pending collection actions. As a result of the Court’s decision, the parties are currently conducting discovery.

The case against Midland Funding, also filed in Suffolk Superior Court, involves identical claims as those asserted LVNV Funding and seeks similar relief for class members. Midland removed the case to federal court, an action which Plaintiff has challenged. Discovery and other progress in the Midland case are essentially on hold until the removal issue is decided.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

New Class Actions: First Resolution and Waterfront Capital

Massachusetts consumer rights attorney Kenneth D. Quat is lead counsel in two class action lawsuits brought against First Resolution Investment Corp. and Waterfront Capital LLC, companies which are large-volume buyers of defaulted consumer credit card debts. The lawsuit alleges that for years First Resolution and Waterfront Capital have been unlawfully collecting debts in Massachusetts because neither is licensed as a debt collector by the Division of Banks. The lawsuits seek to recover damages for consumers and to enjoin the companies from further collection activities until they are properly licensed.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your consumer rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

10/21/14

Debt Cancellation: A Trap for the Unwary

Many consumers are unaware that when they negotiate with a creditor for a reduction or forgiveness of debt, some or all of the reduction may be taxable as income.  Here's a link to an article that highlights this problem:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/your-money/disabled-borrowers-trade-loan-debt-for-a-tax-bill-from-the-irs.html?_r=1   The best way to avoid this possibility is to have the creditor agree not to issue a 1099, but this option is not always available.  Even if a 1099 is issued, some or all of the tax may still be avoided (due to insolvency or other circumstances), but a consumer should consult with a CPA or tax attorney about potential tax issues before entering into a settlement that involves debt reduction or forgiveness.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

10/14/14

New Class Actions: LVNV Funding and Midland Funding

Attorney Kenneth D. Quat is lead counsel in two class action lawsuits brought against LVNV Funding, LLC. and Midland Funding, LLC, companies which are large-volume buyers of defaulted consumer credit card debts. The lawsuit alleges that for years LVNV and Midland have been unlawfully collecting debts in Massachusetts because neither is licensed as a debt collector by the Division of Banks. The lawsuits seek to recover damages for consumers and to enjoin the companies from further collection activities until they are properly licensed.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

Golchin v. Liberty Mutual Update

After another successful appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Plaintiff in the class action entitled Golchin v. Liberty Mutual is now conducting discovery. In this case, which is pending in Worcester Superior Court, Diane Golchin alleges that Liberty Mutual unlawfully denied “medical payments” benefits to her and other insured persons who were harmed in auto accidents. In the latest appeal, the SJC rejected Liberty Mutual’s argument that the medical bills for which Ms. Golchin sought benefits were not “incurred” within the meaning of the insurance policy, and declared that MedPay benefits were in fact payable. Remaining to be litigated are Ms. Golchin’s claim under G.L. c. 93A and all claims asserted on behalf of other insureds. Plaintiff is represented in this case by Attorneys Kenneth D. Quat and Elliot Beresen.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

National Collegiate Student Loan Trust

Attorney Kenneth D. Quat and Quat Law Offices are currently representing clients who have been sued by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust (“NCSLT”) for allegedly unpaid student loans. Unlike many student loan collection lawsuits, cases brought by NCSLT can often be successfully defended, so any person who is a defendant in such a case should consult experienced legal counsel.

9/23/14

Debt Buyers Exposed in New York Times Article

A recent New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story focused on the consumer debt-buying industry. Here's a link to a condensed version of the article:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/08/15/magazine/bad-paper-debt-collector.html

Attorney Kenneth D. Quat and Quat Law Offices have successfully handled numerous cases involving consumer debt buyers, including many of the largest:
  • CACH
  • LVNV Funding
  • Midland Funding
  • Asset Acceptance
  • Pride Acquisitions
  • Unifund
  • Cavalry Portfolio
  • Exelero.  
These cases have entailed the defense of collection lawsuits, and the prosecution of lawsuits against debt buyers due to unfair debt collection practices. See more on debt collection defense.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

9/25/12

Mortgage Rescission Affirmed

In a 28-page opinion issued on September 20, 2012, Judge William Young of the United States District Court (Mass.) largely affirmed the ruling of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Cromwell v. Countrywide that the homeowners were entitled to rescind their mortgage pursuant to the Massachusetts Credit Cost Disclosure Act. Significantly, the District Court also upheld the Bankruptcy Court ruling that as a result of the successful rescission the mortgage was rendered void by operation of law and therefore the claim filed by Countrywide in the homeowners' bankruptcy proceeding became unsecured. The homeowners were represented in both the Bankruptcy Court and on appeal by Attorney Kenneth D. Quat.


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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

5/30/12

Revised Massachusetts Debt Collection Regulations

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has unveiled strong consumer amendments to Massachusetts' Debt Collection Regulations that will modernize existing regulations to include how companies may contact consumers by cell phone and through text messages. The regulations, which are expected to become effective later this year after a public hearing, will also regulate the way a "passive" debt buyer, or the company or person who does not originally own the debt, may conduct themselves. (The Debt Collection Regulations were implemented in the 1970's and had not been amended to keep pace with changing technology.) The proposed amendments expand the scope of the current regulations to, among other things, cover debt collection activities involving cell phone and text messaging; ensure that both active and passive debt buyers are subject to debt collection laws; prohibit creditors from attempting to collect a debt that is time-barred unless they make certain required disclosures to consumers with respect to such debts being collected. See the full Debt Collection Regulations here.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

Successful Mortgage Cases

Quat Law Offices has recently obtained some extremely favorable results for clients with problematic mortgages. In one case, the client received an interest rate reduction from 7.8%/year adjustable to 2%/year fixed, and is also eligible to have her loan balance reduced by approximately $34,000. And, in a second case, the foreclosure of the client’s home was reversed, the loan balance was reduced to the value of the property, and the interest rate was reduced to 3.5%/year, fixed. See our service page on Mortgage and Foreclosure Assistance.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

10/5/11

Massachusetts Homeowner Allowed to Rescind Countrywide Mortgage

On September 27, 2011, Judge William Hillman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, issued a 57-page opinion in which he ruled that Douglas and Mary Cromwell were entitled to rescind the mortgage which they obtained from Countrywide Home Loans in 2005. Rescission was granted on the grounds that at the loan closing Countrywide gave the Cromwells an improperly worded right-to-cancel notice and failed to give the Cromwells the required number of copies of the notice. As a result of this ruling, the Court declared the mortgage to be void and that Countrywide’s claim was to be treated as unsecured in the Cromwells’ bankruptcy estate. Attorney Kenneth D. Quat represented the Cromwells in this proceeding.

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By Ken Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

Supreme Judicial Court Reinstates MedPay Case

On July 25, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of Diane Golchin in her case against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Ms. Golchin had sought to recover medical payments benefits (“MedPay”) from Liberty as a result of injuries suffered in an auto accident, but Liberty Mutual denied her claim on the basis that the medical expenses had already been paid by Ms. Golchin’s health insurer. The Court held that the Worcester Superior Court had erred in dismissing Ms. Golchin’s complaint, and that once an insurer has fully paid out available PIP benefits an insurer cannot withhold MedPay benefits for expenses even though they may have been paid or satisfied by the claimant’s health insurer. The case has been remanded to the Worcester Superior Court, where Ms. Golchin intends to seek class action status. Ms. Golchin is being represented by Attorney Kenneth D. Quat and Attorney Elliot Beresen.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

4/5/11

Gillette Settlement Approved

On March 25, 2011, Judge Douglas Woodlock of the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, granted final approval to a nationwide class action settlement in the case of Dearman v. Gillette. The case was brought as a result of allegedly false advertising by Gillette in connection with its M3P power razors. Attorney Kenneth D. Quat represented one of the lead plaintiffs in this action. Further information about the settlement is available at www.m3powersettlement.com.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

4/4/11

Cases Filed Due to Insurers’ Handling of PIP Claims

Quat Law Offices is co-counseling six class action cases brought against Massachusetts auto insurers for underpaying and denying payment of medical expenses resulting from accidents. The cases allege that in evaluating personal injury protection (“PIP”) claims for payment of medical bills, the insurers use an incorrect standard and rely solely on databases that are biased and unreliable. Five of these cases are pending in Suffolk Superior Court, and one is pending in the United States District Court.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

3/31/11

Cataldo Motion to Dismiss Denied (Again)

Judge Thomas Connelly has again denied a motion brought by Cataldo Ambulance Service to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Rachel Garbee. This Suffolk Superior Court case, which is co-counseled by Quat Law Offices, alleges that Cataldo unlawfully charged interest on an ambulance bill which remained unpaid after thirty days even though the plaintiff never agreed to be responsible for interest charges. Judge Connelly stated in his initial decision that Cataldo “did not have the right to add on the charge of interest.”

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By Ken Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.

3/29/11

Information Regarding Foreclosure Defense

For several years Quat Law Offices has been providing aggressive and successful representation to homeowners attempting to stave off foreclosure. It is important to note that each situation is different and each case must be evaluated individually. Due to the complexity of the issues involved and the volume of documents to review, there is almost always a fee charged for an initial consultation regarding foreclosure defense. We believe that the fee is extremely reasonable. Please contact the office if you would like more information on our foreclosure services.

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By Kenneth D. Quat, Massachusetts Consumer Rights Attorney.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please contact our office. In most situations, we can provide an initial case evaluation at no charge.
Learn more at QuatLaw.com.