His pro bono client’s life had been seized up in such fear that she pawned her wedding ring to feed the maw of a default judgment against her in Los Angeles County Superior Court, obtained by one of the nation’s biggest debt buyers.It was too late to undo the judgment, but Benshoof sued the debt buyer, alleging that its repeated phone calls to the woman were harassing and illegal. The company turned over phone recordings in discovery that showed the calls weren’t as heated as the woman thought.“I still think they crossed a line,” says Benshoof, a partner and big-firm commercial litigator in the Los Angeles office of Alston & Bird.The debt buyer settled, discharging the debt of $5,000, which included interest on the original $3,500 loan, and gave back $2,600 the woman had managed to pay on the judgment.But Benshoof remained curious. His client still insisted she’d never taken out a loan, though she once might have co-signed one. The bank that originated the loan and later sold the debt happened to be a client of his firm, so Benshoof called and asked about it, providing her name and Social Security number. The bank had no record of her… Read full this story
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