In most consumer debt collection actions, the parties must attend a mediation to attempt to resolve the dispute before trial. In November 2022, Holland Law Group attorneys, J. Edward Richards and Elyssa Harvey Tenenblatt, worked with the Florida 12th Judicial Circuit's Citizen Dispute Settlement Program to provide continuing mediation education to many of the Circuit's volunteer mediators. Along with another local attorney, Edward and Elyssa provided valuable information and answered questions regarding legal issues surrounding the many consumer debt cases that are filed each year.
Edward, a senior associate attorney in HLG's debt defense department appears every week in Manatee and Sarasota County courts. He first spoke about debt consolidation and settlement companies as well as the pitfalls many consumers encounter as they try to use those services to settle their accounts. He then spoke about the different kinds of debt, from credit card accounts to automobile deficiencies and medical debts – each with their own defenses and issues.
Elyssa, a senior associate attorney in HLG's bankruptcy department, who is authorized to practice in Florida's Northern, Middle, and Southern district Federal courts, discussed how bankruptcy can assist someone struggling with debt. She discussed the different kinds of bankruptcy, what those bankruptcies can do for different debtors, bankruptcy asset exemptions, timing of filing, and other bankruptcy nuances. She also suggested questions for mediators to ask regarding bankruptcy when conducting a civil dispute mediation.
The Citizen Dispute Settlement Program (CDSP) provides free mediation and referral services for the citizens of Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto Counties across a wide variety of disputes. CDSP uses Florida Supreme Court certified mediators who volunteer their time and are specially selected for the program, and the program can be utilized by parties prior to filing a case with the court.
If you are interested in our attorneys providing a similar seminar for your classroom or department for your community, please reach out to our office. We help people in this situation each day, across the state of Florida, from Miami to Tampa to Jacksonville and everywhere in between. Let us help you too! Call us today so we can discuss your case in a free consultation.