For decades, scholars have written about credit cards and attorney’s fees, but rarely together. This Article addresses the current financial crises of Americans, the credit card industry (including the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act) and attorney’s fees—perhaps a unique combination. It is based upon an actual case that left the putative debtor in a worse financial crisis than before the lawsuit was filed. This Article addresses the current credit card industry and its detrimental impact on society, and it discusses the history and purpose of attorney’s fees, as well as the pitfalls in attorney’s fee legislation. It analyzes the case study under various state laws, with heavy emphasis on Florida and California law, then recommends a legislative change or judicial intervention to ensure that creditors incur financial responsibility when they erroneously sue consumers. With these changes, consumers are made whole when they must defend themselves against small claims lawsuits erroneously filed against them, so as not to become victims of needless debt.
Jennifer M. Smith,
Credit Cards, Attorney's Fees, and the Putative Debtor: A Pyrrhic Victory? Putative Debtors May Win the Battle but Nevertheless Lose the War,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol61/iss1/7