Blog - The Law Office of Michael A. Ziegler, P.L.

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Steps for Finding an Exceptional Attorney
May 30, 2014

If you are looking for an attorney, chances are you already have enough to worry about and do not need the additional stress of hunting for the right lawyer. Wherever you are in your search, the steps below are useful for helping you find an exceptional attorney, no matter what your case may be. Personal Referral Whether looking for a mechanic or a new pair of shoes, people tend to trust the opinion of their family and friends above all else. The same holds true while looking for a lawyer. If you know someone who had the same legal problem… Read More

Understanding Time-Barred Debts
May 20, 2014

If you have accumulated old unpaid debts in your name and you don’t know how you’ll pay for all of them, then it’s time you learned about time-barred debts and how they can affect you. What are time-barred debts? Simply put, time-barred debts (also referred to as “past the statute of limitations”) are debts that can no longer be collected through suing the debtor because a certain amount of time has passed. What types of accounts are affected by time-barring? In some way or another, all debts are affected by time-barring, but the rules are different depending on what type… Read More

The Bankruptcy Automatic Stay – Used for Good or Evil?
April 14, 2014

A recent Tampa Bay Times article reports on a Palm Harbor couple who has filed for bankruptcy a stunning 14 times between 2002 and 2013. Accounting to the article, the couples used the bankruptcy process to prevent the foreclosure of their home during that time. Bankruptcy has an unusual and powerful characteristic called the “automatic stay” which is found in the law under 11 USC § 362. Bankruptcy is able to use the automatic stay to stop what is happening in the State Courts because bankruptcy is filed through the Federal Courts, and the way that United States law is structured, Federal law supersedes… Read More

7 Ways to Stop Harassment from Debt Collectors
March 21, 2014

Have you ever found yourself on the receiving end of a phone call from a debt collector? It can prove to be a stressful and nerve-racking experience. Sometimes debt collection agencies don’t understand when enough is enough and keep trying to squeeze money from a rock. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then consider the following seven ways to get your phone to stop ringing off the hook with collection agencies. 1. Do your research. Even before you get your first call from a debt collection agency, they already know all about you. Most of them will check your credit reports or… Read More

Capital One Debt Collection…Might Come Knocking on Your Door
February 23, 2014

Just about every modern credit card comes with a cardholder agreement that is the size of a short novel. Few people ever read them when the credit card arrives. Instead, we dial the 800 number to activate the card and go on with our lives. But the terms of these cardholder agreements can have real consequences, especially when the consumer falls behind on credit card debt. Capital One has recently updated their cardholder agreement to include terms that have received concern. Consumer watch dogs are concerned that the new language in the cardholder agreement may allow Capital One to visit you in… Read More

Foreclosure Icon David J. Stern may be Disbarred in Florida
November 10, 2013

At one time, the Law Office of David J. Stern was the largest foreclosure Plaintiff’s firm in Florida, singly handling about 20% of the foreclosure cases in Florida. The firm and its iconic managing partner were the topic of controversy during their high point, both for their legal practices and for their lavish indulgences. The Huffington Post compares David Stern to an “oil sheik.” “He piled up a collection of trophy properties, glided through town in a fleet of six-figure sports cars and, with his bombshell wife, partied on an ocean cruiser the size of a small hotel.” Time has taken its… Read More

Husband Ordered to Pay Over $23 Thousand – Overturned
October 7, 2013

One of the more common questions I receive is why an ex-spouse is still named as a defendant in foreclosure when their former spouse was given responsibility to pay the mortgage in a divorce action. The short answer to this question is that even though the divorce judge may decide the issue between the spouses, that decision does not take anyone off the loan. So unless the loan has been re-financed or modified, both spouses are still legally responsible to the bank in a foreclosure if the loan falls behind. As I do not provide any family law or divorce guidance, I have yet to see any… Read More

FCCPA Claim not Compulsory Counterclaim to Foreclosure
September 12, 2013

On many occasions, a legal claim for a debt collector or lender’s breach of collection harassment laws stems out of another lawsuit. For example, if a mortgage company has filed a foreclosure suit and the homeowner has hired an attorney, the mortgage company may be in violation of collection law if they continue to directly contact the homeowner after the homeowner hired the attorney. This relationship between the collection violation and the collection case can create a strategic question of whether the borrower wants to file a lawsuit for the harassing conduct against the lender in the collection case (which… Read More

First BP Witness Takes Stand Monday
May 29, 2013

The trial will determine what additional money BP and its contractors must pay out to claimants, including in Clearwater and Pinellas County. BP is expected to call its first witness Monday at a trial to determine how much more money in damages may be paid out from the well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. The Associated Press is reporting that Halliburton, BP’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling project, just rested its case. This next phase of the trial is expected to last six weeks. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is hearing the testimony in the trial in… Read More

Candlelight Vigil in North Greenwood Honors Newtown Victims
May 29, 2013

A handful of supporters to expand gun background checks met in North Greenwood on the six month anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. In a neighborhood rocked by gun violence, a handful of volunteers clutched clear plastic cups that contained slow burning candles to honor the six month anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary Friday evening. They stood at the corner of Seminole Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Clearwater’s rough and tumble North Greenwood neighborhood in an effort to raise awareness about gun violence and the need for expanded background checks.