CFPB Complaint

Cheadle Law Firm – CFPB Complaint

Consumer Complaint Submission

Date Received: 2018-09-25T00:00:00

Product: Other debt

Issue: False statements or representation

Consumer Consent Provided to Share Complaint: Consent provided

Consumer Complaint: To Whom It May Concern ; I am contacting you regarding my complaint against Cheadle Law in XXXX, Tennessee. In their handling of obtaining a debt on behalf of their client XXXX XXXX ( dba XXXX XXXX ), I believe Cheadle Law has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act pertaining to at least two clauses : 1 ) Misrepresentation or deceit and 2 ) Seeking unjustified amounts by adding arbitrary upfront legal fees without proof or willingness to justify the amount.

Cheadle Law Firm represents XXXX XXXX, a lender that offers Flex loans at 24 % but with customary fees added in for a total 296 %. I offered to settle directly with XXXX XXXX because after nearly a year of making approximately {$700.00} payments every month ( deducted directly from my checking account ), less than {$100.00} was going to the principal. This loan was taken out during XXXX-2017 and my payments were made on time. At one point, I owed more than I borrowed. I contacted XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX and worked with a counselor who recommended I stop paying on the loan. The goal was to have the loan reach a default status so a more realistic settlement/payment arrangement could be made. Had I not done this, I would still be paying off a $ 2-3,000 loan that had already accrued at the time more than {$10000.00} in interest and fees ; I would have never been rid of this loan which still continues to haunt me.

I received a letter from Cheadle Law dated XX/XX/2017 stating they were collecting a debt on behalf of XXXX XXXX ( dba XXXX XXXX ). In addition to the amount owed stated by Cheadle as {$5400.00}, they added in additional attorney fees of {$1800.00}. There was no summary included to justify their exorbitant fees.

On XX/XX/2017 my XXXX XXXX XXXX counselor wrote a letter on my behalf requesting a breakdown of Cheadle Laws fees. In response, Cheadle sent a letter dated XX/XX/2017 stating We decline to respond to your letter in the format you request, but your obligation to the creditor has been verified with an overview of my payments to XXXX XXXX which was not accurate. My question is how can Cheadle add arbitrary fees without finding it necessary to provide a summary? They are using their position as lawyers as intimidation. My second question is what if Cheadle applied atotal of {$50000.00} in legal fees ; according to their response the implication is I would be responsible for this because they simply added it to their letter.

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Ultimately my case went before a judge. The XXXX XXXX XXXX referred me to a lawyer who suggested that I take the deal Cheadle offered which was to pay {$100.00} per month at no interest until the full loan ( including Cheadles fees ) was paid in full. If I didnt take the deal, I was told by this lawyer that Cheadle would seek repayment with full interest and fees. This scenario would only have led to me filing for bankruptcy and/or force me to lose my home. I felt forced into accepting the deal, but after a few days and a conversation with my XXXX XXXX XXXX counselor I decided to appeal the case. Their referred lawyer dropped me as a client, and put me in a situation where I needed to obtain a new lawyer. I ultimately lost the case because during lawyers I missed an opportunity to file a necessary motion. Then the added fees from Cheadle became fair and just during the appeal process.

It is also worth noting that at a time when I had no legal representation, I spoke with XXXX XXXX XXXX on Thursday, XX/XX/2017 in attempt to get something in writing so I could start a payment plan. Even as I attempted to make good on this loan, she told me verbally over the phone she owed me nothing in writing. I told her this was ridiculous because I dont shop at a supermarket without knowing the price of things before handing over my money. She ended the call saying she would get me something in writing the next day, but that information has never materialized.

I am now in a payment arrangement with Cheadle. Because of the attempted appeal process, I lost the opportunity at 0 % interest and now make monthly payments with 6 % interest. Had Cheadle had their way in court, it would have been 24 % but that was halted because I began making payments and the second lawyer was more beneficial than the first.

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I realize I was at fault for ever taking a loan from XXXX XXXX, but Cheadles practice of arbitrarily adding fees without an explanation to an already outrageous debt from a predatory lender does not feel like it should be legal let alone conscionable. At one point, their website featured a picture of the firms private jet which was obviously obtained by taking advantage of folks in my situation.

Last week as I was writing out another check to Cheadle, I looked up their address online and noticed their reviews. I am not the only consumer with this type of complaint against Cheadle regarding exorbitant upfront lawyer fees, also without an explanation of their added costs. Their fees that they included on their first letter to me were accrued by filling in a form letter and placing it in a stamped envelope which surely, in my case, did not amount to {$1800.00} in costs.

Please hold this firm accountable for unfair practices.

Sincerely, XXXX XXXX

Company: Cheadle Law Firm

State/Zip: TN 371XX

Company Response to Complaint: Closed with explanation

Was Company Response Timely: Yes

Did Consumer Dispute Company Response: N/A

Complaint ID: 3028947

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