DCA Blog

Amanda Narvaes's Articles


How the Supreme Court's Decision in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. Affects Unfair Debt Collection Practices

The federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) has long protected consumers from the more unsavory practices of debt collectors. Yet, on June 17, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. that may limit these protections. In Henson, the plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Santander violated the FDCPA in its communications with them. Santander moved to dismiss the action, claiming it was not a “debt collector&rd ...

Apparent Authority in Michigan

If an employee agrees to a contract on behalf of a business, is the business liable? It depends. If the owner authorized the employee to sign contracts on behalf of the business, then the business is responsible for any obligations under the signed contract. In legal terms, the authorized employee is an agent: a person who agrees to act on behalf of his/her principal (the business). The agent’s signature binds the principal to a contract. If the business subsequently fails to perform a ...

How Courts Interpret Ambiguous Contract Language

What happens when two parties disagree over the meaning and scope of a contractual agreement? Is the dispute resolved simply by reading the language of the contract in question? Yes, sometimes. Michigan courts (and federal courts applying Michigan law) generally rule that the actual contract language is the best indication of two parties’ intent in forming their agreement. Yet, that is not always the case. If the court finds ambiguity within the contract’s language, then outside ev ...

What are Contingency Fees?

What is a contingency fee and how does it work? It’s not uncommon for potential legal clients to inquire about contingency fees. Basically, clients want to know what they are and how they work. A contingency fee is one pricing method used by lawyers to bill their clients. Under a contingency fee agreement, a lawyer (or law firm) does not collect a fee from the client unless the lawsuit is successful (or is favorably settled out of court). Contingency fees are usually calculated as a perce ...

Arbitration Clauses Limit Consumer Rights

Have you been charged fees for unwanted/unselected services by your cable or cell phone provider? Have you ever been cheated out of proper compensation by an unsavory employer? If so, your consumer protection case may never have its day in court—thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, issued in 2011, which dramatically changed American citizens’ ability to access justice through the courts. Customers forced into arbitration The heart of th ...