Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations

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FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT VIOLATIONS FACTS

WHAT IS THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT?
In 1968, Congress passed the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to:
• eliminate abusive New Jersey debt collection practices by New Jersey debt collectors,
• to insure that those New Jersey debt collectors who refrain from using abusive New Jeresy debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and
• to promote consistent State action to protect New Jersey debtor consumers against New Jersey debt collection abuses.

The purpose of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to protect New Jersey debtor consumers from a host of unfair, harassing, and deceptive New Jersey debt collection practices. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act seeks to protect debtors from abuse since there was abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair d New Jersey debt collection practices by many New Jersey debt collectors. Abusive New Jersey debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs and to invasions of individual privacy. Designed “to have a broad remedial scope,” the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects New Jersey debtor consumers -- natural persons obligated to pay any debt by creating debt collection rules and prohibiting objectionable New Jersey debt collection practices. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits New Jersey debt collectors from committing various acts, including using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt” and using “unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.” The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a strict liability statute. Therefore, to recover damages, a New Jersey debtor need not show intentional, fraudulent, or knowing violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The New Jersey bill collector's state of mind is only important in the damage award analysis once a violation has been proven or as part of a New Jersey debt collector's affirmative defenses to a lawsuit. Since it is a federal debtor protection law, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is "liberally construed in favor of New Jersey debtor consumers and other United States debtor consumers to effect its purpose.”  Congress enacted the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in response to "abundant evidence" of debt collector abuse, deception, and unfair practice when attempting to collecting debts, and because inadequate consumer protections existed under both Federal and State law at that time. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act balances the interests of both New Jersey consumers and New Jersey debt collectors and seeks to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by New Jersey debt collectors, to insure that those New Jersey debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged and to promote consistent State action to protect New Jersey debtor consumers against debt collection abuses in New Jersey and elsewhere.

THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT IS A STRONG DEBT COLLECTION ABUSE PROTECTION LAW THAT FAVORS NEW JERSEY DEBTORS
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a strict liability Fair Debt Law. Like other consumer protection laws, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is liberally interpreted in favor of New Jersey debtor consumers to achieve its purpose. To be entitled to Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act damages, a New Jersey debtor consumer need not show intentional, fraudulent, or knowing violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The New Jersey debt collector's state of mind may only be considered in the damage award analysis once a Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation has been proven or as part of a New Jersey debt collector's affirmative defenses.

WHAT IS A “DEBT” UNDER THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT?
The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines “debt” as any obligation on the part of a New Jersey debtor to pay money "arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not such obligation has been reduced to New Jersey judgment." For example, rent – money paid periodically to use or occupy property – is a “debt” under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

WHO IS A NEW JERSEY CREDITOR UNDER THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT?
Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the word "creditor" is defined as
any person who offers or extends credit creating a New Jersey debt or to whom a New Jersey debt is owed, but such term does not include any person to the extent that he receives an assignment or transfer of a New Jersey debt in default solely for the purpose of facilitating New Jersey collection of such debt for another.

TO WHOM DOES THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT APPLY?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines “debt collector” as “any person . . . who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.” Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the definition of the term "debt collector" points primarily to two types of independent New Jersey debt collectors: (1) people who use any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the primary purpose of which is the collection of debts; and (2) people who regularly collect or attempt to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed to another. Generally speaking, any person who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owned or due or claimed to be owed or due another is a "debt collector" under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Individual employees, partners, or corporate officers fitting within the law’s definition of "debt collector" and who actively and personally violate the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, may be held jointly and severally liable along with the New Jersey debt collection agency for whom they work. A New Jersey debt collection company must generally answers for its employees' or agent's violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies only to independent debt collectors; it does not generally apply to bill creditors collecting their own debts from New Jersey debtor consumers. For example, if a bank collects their own bills, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not apply to that activity. In one case, a bank made harassing telephone calls in trying to collect a VISA account but since the bank was attempting collection for itself and not for others, it was not responsible for violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. On the other hand, if a bank hires a New Jersey collection agency or New Jersey attorney to collect their New Jersey bills and that New Jersey collection agency or New Jersey collection attorney violate fail to follow Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the New Jersey collection agency or New Jersey collection attorney may be responsible for New Jersey debt collection misconduct. New Jersey collection attorneys who regularly attempt to collect New Jersey debts are subject to the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Many New Jersey collection attorneys violate the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A New Jersey collection law firm or New Jersey collection attorney that regularly files summary dispossess lawsuits for nonpayment of rent is a New Jersey debt collector under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTION ATTORNEYS MAY BE HELD LIABLE UNDER THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
In 1986 Congress removed the exemption granted to New Jersey lawyers from the definition of "debt collector". This amendment eliminated any distinction between New Jersey lawyer debt collectors and nonlawyer New Jersey debt collectors and provides that any New Jersey lawyer who is in the business of collecting debts will be regarded by the as a New Jersey debt collector. Moreover, in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applied to New Jersey debt collector lawyers "who regularly engage in consumer-debt-collection activity, even when that activity consists of litigation." The belief was that a lawyer who regularly tries to obtain payment of consumer debts through legal proceedings meets the definition of "debt collector": one who "regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, [consumer] debts owed … another," under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Any person who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owned or due to asserted to be owed or due another is a "debt collector" under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Individual employees, partners, or corporate officers, who fit within the statutory definition of "debt collector" and who actively and personally violate the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, may be held jointly and severally liable along with the New Jersey debt collection agency for Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations. A New Jersey debt collection company answers for its employees' or agent's Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations. The principles of vicarious liability provide an incentive for the New Jersey debt collection agency to properly train and discipline "wayward employees."

THE FOUR ELEMENTS TO PROVE A FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT VIOLATION BASED ON NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTION
To establish a prima facie case for Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation, a New Jersey debtor consumer must prove four elements: (1) the New Jersey debtor is any natural person who is harmed by violations of the FDCPA, or is a "consumer" when the cause of action is for a violation about a communication in connection with debt collection or about requiring the New Jersey debt collector provide the New Jersey debtor consumer with the "mini-Miranda" warning; (2) the New Jersey "debt" arises out of a transaction entered primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; (3) the New Jersey debt collector collecting the New Jersey debt is a "debt collector" within the meaning of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; and (4) the New Jersey debt collector has violated, by act or omission, a provision of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

WHAT RIGHTS DO THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT PROVIDE TO NEW JERSEY DEBTORS?
Below is a discussion of some of the rights provided New Jersey debtor consumers and restrictions imposed on New Jersey debt collectors under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:

Communications With Debtors Regulated -- the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act regulates the manner and time within which a New Jersey debt collector may communicate with a New Jersey debtor for the collection of a New Jersey debt before a New Jersey lawsuit is filed against the New Jersey consumer debtor. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act defines a “communication” as the conveying of information regarding a New Jersey debt directly or indirectly to any person though any medium.

Misrepresentations Forbidden -- Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a New Jersey debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any New Jersey debt.

New Jersey Collection of Unauthorized Debts Forbidden – It is an unfair or unconscionable practice for a New Jersey debt collector to collect any amount, including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation, unless that amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the New Jersey debt or permitted by law.

Disclosures Required – The New Jersey bill collector’s first communication to the New Jersey debtor must have an initial warning that the New Jersey bill collector: (1) is in fact a New Jersey debt collector; and (2) that any information the New Jersey bill collector obtains shall be used to collect the New Jersey debt (often called the "mini-Miranda" warning). Within five days after the New Jersey bill collector’s "initial communication," the New Jersey bill collector must give notice to the New Jersey debtor that includes certain details about the New Jersey debt, notice that the New Jersey debtor has a 30-day period to dispute the New Jersey debt, inquire about the original creditor and/or obtain a copy of a New Jersey judgment issued against the New Jersey debtor consumer. More specifically, the New Jersey debtor consumer must be provided with the following information:
• the amount of the New Jersey debt;
• the name of the creditor to whom the New Jersey debt is owed;
• a statement that unless the New Jersey debtor consumer, within 30 days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the New Jersey debt, or any portion thereof, the New Jersey debt will be assumed to be valid by the New Jersey bill collector;
• a statement that if the New Jersey debtor consumer notifies the New Jersey bill collector in writing within the 30-day period that the New Jersey debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the New Jersey bill collector will obtain verification of the New Jersey debt or a copy of a New Jersey judgment against the New Jersey debtor consumer and a copy of such verification or New Jersey judgment will be mailed to the New Jersey debtor consumer by the New Jersey bill collector; and
• a statement that, upon the New Jersey debtor consumer's written request within the 30-day period, the New Jersey bill collector will provide the New Jersey debtor consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

Notice of Dispute Period -- The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act establishes a 30 day dispute period within which a New Jersey debtor may question the validity of a New Jersey debt. The New Jersey bill collector must send the New Jersey consumer debtor a written notice containing a statement that unless the New Jersey consumer debtor, within 30 days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the New Jersey debt, or any portion thereof, the collector will assume the New Jersey debt is valid. That period begins after the New Jersey consumer debtor receives an appropriate communication, often the initial communication, from the New Jersey bill collector. This notice must state that, if the New Jersey consumer debtor timely notifies the New Jersey bill collector in writing that the New Jersey debt is disputed, in whole in or in part, the New Jersey bill collector must obtain verification of the New Jersey debt or a copy of a New Jersey judgment against the New Jersey consumer debtor and that the New Jersey bill collector must mail a copy of such verification or New Jersey judgment to the New Jersey consumer debtor. If the New Jersey consumer debtor provides timely notice that the New Jersey debt is disputed, the New Jersey bill collector must If the New Jersey consumer debtor disputes the New Jersey debt in writing within the 30 day timeframe, the New Jersey bill collector “shall cease New Jersey collection” until the New Jersey bill collector mails the New Jersey consumer debtor verification of the New Jersey debt or a copy of a New Jersey judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or New Jersey judgment, or name and address of the original creditor. Therefore, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allows a New Jersey debtor to temporarily halt New Jersey debt collection by disputing the New Jersey debt but also permit a New Jersey debt collector to resume New Jersey collection efforts by verifying the New Jersey debt. Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the New Jersey summons and New Jersey complaint cannot trigger a New Jersey debt collector’s notice obligations. The Superior Court of New Jersey analyzes a New Jersey debt collector's lawsuits under the "least-sophisticated debtor" standard. Under this objective standard, the question isn’t whether the New Jersey consumer debtor is actually deceived or misled but instead, whether an unsophisticated New Jersey debtor consumer would have been mislead. For, Congress intended the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to protect all New Jersey debtor consumers, whether gullible or shrewd. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act thereby ensures the protection of all New Jersey debtor consumers, even the naive and the trusting, against deceptive New Jersey debt collection practices and protects New Jersey debt collectors against liability for bizarre or idiosyncratic interpretations of New Jersey collection notices. The “least sophisticated consumer” is presumed to possess a rudimentary amount of information about the world and a willingness to carefully read a New Jersey collection notice.

Limits to where certain New Jersey debt collection lawsuits may be filed -- To further the goal of protecting New Jersey debtor consumers, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides that, with the exception of lawsuits concerning real estate, New Jersey debt collectors must file New Jersey collection lawsuits where the New Jersey consumer debtor lives or where the contract creating the New Jersey debt was signed. This provision of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act seeks to minimize the perceived imbalance of power between New Jersey debtors and New Jersey creditors by requiring New Jersey collection lawsuits for New Jersey consumer debt lawsuits to be filed in a location convenient to the New Jersey consumer debtor.

THE INITIAL COMMUNICATION BY THE NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTOR TO THE NEW JERSEY DEBTOR
Every New Jersey debt collector regulated by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act must place a notice on the initial communication to the New Jersey debtor that the communication is an attempt to collect a New Jersey debt, and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose. The Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act makes it illegal for a New Jersey debt collector to fail to disclose in the initial written communication with the New Jersey debtor consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the New Jersey debtor consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the New Jersey debt collector is attempting to collect a New Jersey debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a New Jersey debt collector -- the "mini-Miranda warning."

THE REQUIRED NOTICE OF THE NEW JERSEY DEBTOR’S RIGHT TO DISPUTE THE NEW JERSEY DEBT
When trying to collect a New Jersey debt by contacting the New Jersey debtor, every New Jersey debt collector regulated by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act must give notice to the New Jersey debtor, within five days after the "initial communication," that includes certain details about the New Jersey debt, notice that the New Jersey debtor has a 30-day period to dispute the New Jersey debt, inquire about the original creditor and/or obtain a copy of a judgment issued against the New Jersey debtor consumer. More specifically, the New Jersey debtor consumer must be provided with the following information:

• the amount of the New Jersey debt;
• the name of the creditor to whom the New Jersey debt is owed;
• a statement that unless the New Jersey debtor consumer, within 30 days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the New Jersey debt, or any portion thereof, the New Jersey debt will be assumed to be valid by the New Jersey debt collector;
• a statement that if the New Jersey debtor consumer notifies the New Jersey debt collector in writing within the 30-day period that the New Jersey debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the New Jersey debt collector will obtain verification of the New Jersey debt or a copy of a judgment against the New Jersey debtor consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the New Jersey debtor consumer by the New Jersey debt collector; and
• a statement that, upon the New Jersey debtor consumer's written request within the 30-day period, the New Jersey debt collector will provide the New Jersey debtor consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.

WHAT IS THE STANDARD TO DETERMINE IF A COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE NEW JERSEY DEBTOR AND THE NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTION WAS FALSE, DECEPTIVE, MISLEADING, HARRASING, ABUSIVE OR AN UNFAIR PRACTICE?
The standard that most courts use to interpret whether a communication between the New Jersey debtor consumer and the New Jersey debt collector was "false, deceptive or misleading," "harassing or abusive" or an "unfair practice" under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the "least sophisticated consumer”. The standard is applied objectively, which means that a New Jersey debtor consumer's individual perception of harm is not relevant.

CAN A NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTOR COLLECT MONEY THAT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN A NEW JERSEY CREDITOR AND A NEW JERSEY DEBTOR?
It is an unfair or unconscionable collection practice to "[collect] any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the New Jersey debt or permitted by law."

HOW DO I PROVE THAT A NEW JERSEY DEBT COLLECTOR VIOLATED THE FEDRAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT?
To establish a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a New Jersey debtor must prove, at a minimum, the following:
• the claimant is:
o any natural person who is harmed by violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; or
o when the claim is for making a communication in connection with New Jersey debt collection, a "consumer" as defined by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; or
o when the claim is for the New Jersey bill collector’s failure to provide the New Jersey debtor consumer with the "mini-Miranda" warning, a "consumer" as defined by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; and
• the "debt" comes from a transaction entered primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;
• the New Jersey bill collector collecting the New Jersey debt is a "debt collector" within the meaning of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act;
• the New Jersey bill collector violated, either by an act or by an omission, a section of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGES CAN A NEW JERSEY DEBTOR RECOVER UNDER THE FEDERAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT?
New Jersey debt collectors violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is liable for actual damages, plus New Jersey court costs and reasonable New Jersey attorney's fees, as well as any other damages not exceeding $1,000 found appropriate by a New Jersey trial court. Because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act imposes strict liability, a New Jersey debtor need not show intentional conduct by the New Jersey bill collector to be entitled to damages. However, a New Jersey debt collector may escape liability if it can demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violation was unintentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris.
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