Hayt, Hayt & Landau is a New Jersey debt collection law firm with an office in Philadelphia. Despite many other sources on the internet claiming otherwise, its dunning letters and especially its lawsuits should be taken very seriously. It is a “real law firm” despite many erroneous websites claiming otherwise.
The collection law firm is believed to be owned by Martin Rubin, Esq. Click here. He is a validly licensed New Jersey attorney. Click here. It is believed that he controls the daily operations of Hayt, Hayt & Landau. The collection law firm specializes in representing junk debt buyers (who purchase old, defaulted debts from original creditors) and rarely represents original creditors. Click here for an interesting exposé into the internal workings of junk debt buyers from the perspective of a trial judge.
If you are receiving phone calls or collection letters from Hayt, Hayt & Landau, the chances are high that a collection lawsuit will imminently follow. This is especially true when you ignore its phone calls or its first two dunning letters described below. Before contacting the collection law firm, you should consider contacting a Consumer Rights Attorney. We offer a no-obligation consultation.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau’s So-Called “Attorneys’ Notice”
Hayt, Hayt & Landau will often send a first letter called “Attorneys’ Notice.” Click here for a redacted copy. What you should look for is whether the Attorneys’ Notice contains attorney’s fees and the amount. They may not be calculated correctly according to various laws resulting in a possible violation. You should also view the area concerning the current and original creditor for clues. You should keep the envelope the Attorneys’ Notice arrived in. Moreover, you should definitely exercise your dispute rights as soon as possible because you have very important rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that will expire within 30 days of your receipt of a debt collector’s first collection letter. Click here for a sample.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau’s So-Called “Counsels’ Notice”
Similar to the Attorneys’ Notice, Hayt, Hayt & Landau will usually mail a second dunning letter entitled “Counsels’ Notice.” Despite the appearance of these “notices,” they are not legal papers, documents, or service of process. They are just collection letters. However, the collection law firm is generally free to make up names for its collection letters so long as they are not false, deceptive, misleading, or unfair. Click here for a redacted sample of the Counsels’ Notice.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau’s Phone Calls – A Consumer Dilemma
By this time, if the collection law firm knows your telephone number, you should have received many calls and voicemails using artificial and human voices. You should know first that you have a right to terminate telephone calls to your place of employment if your employer does not allow you to take personal calls (collection calls) while working. You should already have sent a dispute letter, such as our sample, that addresses employment calls. Secondly, it is a common, but erroneous belief, that a consumer can restrict collection contacts to just mail and prohibit telephone calls. Actually, the FDCPA has two relevant sections that are tricky to reconcile regarding direct contacts by a debt collector:
15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a) states:
Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector…, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt… at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer.
It might appear that this section would permit you to restrict the manner in which a debt collector contacts you if the manner or time in which you are contacted is inconvenient. But, a debt collector could argue that if it is convenient for you to receive calls from friends, family, or other businesses, then you cannot prove that it was inconvenient to receive a telephone call from a debt collector. Although no court is believed to have addressed this issue, 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a) of the FDCPA does not appear to flatly give you a right to restrict all telephone calls. You do have the right to restrict the time in which calls are placed.
On the other hand, 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c) states:
If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt…
This section does provide a consumer the stark right to restrict all forms of communication including telephone calls. If you invoke this section, the debt collector will not be able to communicate with you telephonically or in writing or in any other medium barring a few exceptions.
We have found a way to possibly take advantage of the two provisions: request that Hayt, Hayt & Landau refrain from calling, and if its does not honor your request, then require that it not contact you at all using any means of communication.
Of course, if you cannot receive any calls in general because you are sick, disabled, have household members who are sick or disable, have infants (with strict sleep schedules), cannot receive day calls (because you work night shift) or have another good reason, then maybe it really is inconvenient for you to receive any telephone calls. In your dispute letter, you may want to advise the collection law firm why it is inconvenient to receive any telephone calls.
Navigating these contact decisions is tricky, and you should obtain legal advice from a Consumer Rights Attorney. Additionally, Hayt, Hayt & Landau in our experience does aggressively pursue court cases against consumers. If you restrict its ability to contact you at all through 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c), Hayt, Hayt & Landau may feel it has no choice but to sue you immediately. Then again, since it sues many consumers anyway, you may only accelerate the timetable for suit by a few months.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau’s Collection Lawsuits
Hayt, Hayt & Landau will file lawsuits similar to this redacted lawsuit. YOU MUST FILE AN ANSWER OR OTHER RESPONSIVE PLEADING. If you do not, you will lose by default, no questions. This is true even if you have a defense, are not liable, or have other valid reasons for not owing the debt. Again, you must file an Answer or other document objecting to the complaint filed against you. We are very experienced in appropriately responding the allegations made against you and carefully framing your defenses.
If you file an Answer, the collection law firm will very likely serve discovery requests (demands for documents and answers to questions you generally must answer). Here is a sample set of Interrogatories (questions) and Requests for Admission that Hayt, Hayt & Landau tends to serve. Notice how the discovery requests appear to be designed to compel you to admit facts against yourself. This is intentional… and it is usually lawful. Unlike in criminal matters where you may stand mute and not testify against yourself, no such constitutional protections apply in civil matters. The upside is that you can serve similar discovery requests on the collection law firm seeking information that will show the weaknesses in its client’s case. For instance, you might be able to establish that there was no debt, that no one bought the debt, that no one has proof of the debt, etc. We are very experienced at drafting discovery requests against the collection law firm’s junk debt buyer clients.
While it may be disconcerting to receive a collection lawsuit, bear in mind that the debt collector has the burden of proof to establish: 1) that a debt was originally contracted, 2) that the debt was validly assigned to one or more junk debt buyers, 3) the amount and manner in which a debt is calculated, and 4) other contract terms, such as, interest, fees, and costs. Because many junk debts are sold without the supporting “paper” or documents, junk debt buyers have a difficult time in meeting their burden of proof.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau is a real law firm that aggressively seeks payments on behalf of its clients. Notices, collection letters, telephone calls, and lawsuits from the collection law firm should be taken seriously. However, because it generates so much volume, mistakes and violations are possible. Consumers have alleged its debt collectors are callous, rude, insensitive, and threatening. Sometimes, though, a consumer may come across one of its debt collectors that turns out to be helpful or otherwise pleasant. The best course of action when dealing with Hayt, Hayt & Landau is to contact an attorney. We offer a no-obligation consultation.
Special Note on First American Acceptance Co., LLC
If you have heard from Hayt, Hayt & Landau, you stand a good chance that it is in reference to the company known as First American Acceptance Co., LLC. This entity is a ” junk debt buyer,” meaning it buys alleged debts, often very old, from original creditors and more likely from other junk debt buyers. Interestingly, Martin Rubin, discussed above, owns this junk debt buyer. Click here.
First American Acceptance and Hayt, Hayt & Landau appear to be controlled by the same person. This may raise a host of legal issues that may or may not benefit a consumer. It has been our experience that First American Acceptance struggles to provide proof that it is owed any money. It is so far down the chain of ownership of junk debt, that it may not be able to prove a debt is even owed in the first instance.
Hayt, Hayt & Landau’s contact information:
Two Industrial Way West
Eatontown, NJ 07724
400 Market Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Info@HaytLaw.com (may not be attended)
Notes: No known website. Do not confuse with the other Hayt, Hayt & Landaus of New York or Florida. This page does not pertain to them.