5 Steps to Handling a Lawsuit by Rausch Sturm
Who is Rausch Sturm, LLP?
Rausch Sturm, LLP is one of the largest collection firms in Florida. Rausch Sturm is based in Wisconsin and maintains offices across the United States according to Glassdoor. Their Florida office is located right here in Clearwater!
Rausch Sturm has been around for 40 years according to its website. However, they previously operated under the name Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson, & Hornik, LLC. Rausch Sturm is BBB accredited despite 74 Complaints (as of 06/22/2021).
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaint database reflects 142 consumer complaints (as of 06/22/2021 – with a 3 year lookback).
Why have I been sued by Rausch Sturm, LLP?
Rausch Sturm represents banks and creditors in collection lawsuits to try and secure payment for their clients. They represent a variety of industries, including collecting payments for auto lenders, banks, commercial lenders, credit card companies, student loans, telecommunication providers, and utility providers. If Rausch Sturm has sued you, they most likely represent a creditor who claims you owe that creditor a debt.
Is there a class action lawsuit against Rausch Sturm, LLP?
Consumers have sued Rausch Sturm a number of times for claims of improper collection practices. For example, a search of the federal court “PACER” system reflects 3 cases in federal court where Rausch Sturm was listed as a defendant (as of 06/22/2021). Expanding the “PACER” system search to Rausch Sturm’s prior business name, Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson, & Hornik, LLC, reflects 76 cases in federal court where Rausch Sturm was listed as a defendant (as of 06/22/2021).
Several consumer class action lawsuits have been filed against Rausch Sturm. For example, in a 2021 class action filed in California, the consumer Plaintiff claimed that Rausch Sturm misrepresented the legal right to file suits against that consumer in California when the attorney signing the threatening letter was not licensed to practice law in the State of California. The Plaintiff claimed that action was in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because it misrepresented the legal right to file suit in California when no such legal right existed.
What can I do about my lawsuit by Rausch Sturm?
First, do not sit on your hands! In Florida, any claims up to $8,000 are in Small Claims, up to $30,000 are in county court, and anything more is in circuit court. In small claims cases, a defendant is required to attend a hearing early on called a “case management conference”; whereas in county court and circuit court, the defendant has 20-days to file a written response from the day the lawsuit papers are served. If a defendant doesn’t appear (in small claims) or they fail to respond (in county court or circuit court), the court will likely enter a default judgment against them. Make sure to respond (or hire someone to do so) so you don’t lose off the bat!
Review the claim
Next, review the records from the case. When a lawsuit is based on the records of another company, it may be that the records are inaccurate. Review the claim and don’t assume it is correct just because they have written it. See if the claim and the amount are accurate.
Consider your options
Third, evaluate the alleged debt from the lawsuit, along with your other debt and your income. Is there a defense to the claim? Can you realistically afford settlement, or does it make more sense to consider bankruptcy? Here is where you may want to have a free consultation with a debt resolution professional who can help you to objectively review your options.
Depending on the merits of your case, negotiation may be the next best step. If you hire a debt settlement attorney to assist you with the lawsuit, your attorney will negotiate for you. However, if you are determined to go it alone, you are generally better talking to the opposing firm than doing nothing (*this is a generalization; each situation is different). Just keep in mind, they are not looking out for your best interest. They are likely not going to tell you about your defenses to the lawsuit or your protections from collection. Their job is to get you to pay.
Any Settlement Agreement Should be in Writing
Finally, if you reach a settlement agreement, even if you are representing yourself, your agreement should be in writing.
Can you help me file a lawsuit against Rausch Sturm for no out-of-pocket Fees?
If Rausch Sturm has violated your consumer rights under the FDCPA, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”), or other qualifying consumer protection laws, then YES we can!
As a consumer in the State of Florida, you have stronger consumer rights than in many other states. The types of conduct that may violate your rights include: harassing calls, misrepresentations of amounts or legal rights, the use of abusive or threatening language, and improper credit reporting.
Federal and Florida law provide you with the tools to seek monetary damages in court for harassment or other violations of your consumer rights. For example, the FDCPA and the FCCPA each entitles a consumer whose rights have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney’s fees and court costs!
Questions on Your Rausch Sturm Lawsuit?
We offer a complimentary consultation with our experienced attorneys. We’ll evaluate your case and review your options with you.
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Clearwater: (727) 538-4188 | Tampa: (813) 225-3111