(Legal Newsline) —The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Jan.
30 that it has filed a complaint in federal court against a group of law firms and
attorneys who allegedly collaborated to charge illegal fees to consumers
seeking debt relief.
defendants are Howard Law P.C., the Williamson Law Firm LLC, and
Williamson & Howard LLP, as well as attorneys Vincent Howard and Lawrence
and Williamson & Howard are law firms in Orange County,
California. The Williamson Law Firm is registered in Kansas. Vincent Howard is the
president of Howard Law, and Lawrence Williamson is the head lawyer at
Williamson Law Firm. Both are part owners of Williamson & Howard.
to allegations, the defendants violated Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibitions against fee charges until after a debt relief provider has settled, and reduced or changed the terms of at least one consumer’s debts. The
defendants purportedly deceived consumers about an illegal upfront fee.
defendants exploited consumers who were already suffering financial
difficulties by tricking them into paying steep, illegal fees,” CFPB Director
Richard Cordray said. “We put a stop to this scam once already, and we intend
to do it again.”