Frederick J. Hanna & Associates PC. (“Hanna”) and its individual members, Frederick J. Hanna, Joseph C. Cooling and Robert A. Winter, entered into a Stipulated Final Judgment and its principal partners have agreed to pay a total of $3.1 million in penalties to settle CFPB allegations. In July 2014, the CFPB sued Hanna, alleging they relied on deceptive court filings and faulty evidence to file debt collection lawsuits.
Under the CFPB’s consent order Hanna is required to pay $3.1 million to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund, end its illegal collection and intimidation tactics, prohibit deceptive court filings, and clean up attorney practices. This Consent Order concludes seventeen-months of litigation with the CFPB. NARCA released a statement which says in part that:
“While Hanna agreed to monetary penalties, there has been no admission of liability on the part of Hanna or its members; further both parties agree that there has been no adjudication of any issue of fact or remaining issues of law arising from the conduct alleged in the CFPB’s complaint.
NARCA understands that many consent orders are entered into because the cost of fighting is overwhelming
and believes that the current consent order falls in that category.
The Consent Order continues the trend of federal agencies treading upon the separation of powers by trying to regulate the litigation activities of lawyers who turn to the courts in order to help recover unpaid consumer
debts. The right to petition for redress through the courts is a constitutional right guaranteed by the First
Amendment and the courts are fully empowered to make sure that this right is exercised in a fair and just
manner for all parties in each lawsuit. Lawyers are officers of the court who must answer to the court for the
Way they conduct litigation.”