Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

January 2021 - Consumers Beware: Debt Collection Rules are About to Change

Debt - Past DueAnyone who’s ever been contacted by a debt collector knows the stress those phone calls evoke. Imagine if the calls were followed by emails, text messages and even private posts via social media. That’s what consumers can expect as the result of a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ruling.

About 70 million people, or one out of every four consumers, have a debt in collection at any given time, according to the National Consumer Law Center. The business shutdowns and work furloughs of 2020 can only increase that statistic.

Currently, the law allows debt collectors to contact consumers only by phone and regulates the number of calls and hours during which they can be made. The new ruling, effective October 31, also allows for unlimited emails, texts, and private social media messages. While consumers can opt out of receiving electronic messages, the details of how have yet to be announced.

Until then, the following can protect you from undue harassment.
  • Verify the debt – The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977 gives you the right to know who the original creditor is and how the debt total was calculated.
  • Beware of “zombie” debt – New Jersey’s statute of limitations for most debt is six years. By making a payment on expired debt, you revive the debt (a.k.a. ‘zombie’ debt) and your responsibility for it.
  • Protect sensitive information – Don’t reveal personal information (i.e., social security number, birth date, bank and/or credit card numbers) until you verify the debt and are setting up a repayment plan.
  • Check credit reports – Look for accidental errors (i.e., debts incurred by someone with the same name, or paid debts not properly recorded), and evidence of identity theft whereby someone opened accounts or took out loans in your name.
  • Negotiate – Explore the possibility of settling for a lower amount of debt that you can afford to repay.
  • Automate repayments – Automated payments can help you meet your obligations but be aware of any renewal terms that may apply.

Hiding from debt never works; but do ensure you’re only paying what you owe.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian