California Debt Defense

This information is intended for California residents only.  This is general information only.  You must speak with a lawyer to know how the law applies to your case.

Protect Yourself from Creditor Harassment

Law Office of Thomas Hjerpe

350 E Street, Suite 403

Eureka, CA  95501

Telephone:  707 442-7262

- Thomas Hjerpe, Esq.

- Jocelyn Godinho, Esq.

If litigation is necessary to resolve a dispute we can either represent you or we can associate with a litigation specialist, depending on the nature of the dispute, the dollar amount of the damages and whether it must be filed in State or Federal Court.  Attorney’s fees for litigation are often charged on a Contingency Fee basis.  If litigation is successful the creditor will have to pay all of your attorney’s fees and costs.  If litigation is not successful or the creditor cannot be made to actually pay your attorney’s fees, you will not be responsible for attorney’s fees.  A contingency-fee agreement allows the attorney to recover costs and expenes as well as a percentage of what you recover in damages from the creditor for their violations of law and your emotional distress and related damages.  If it is time to sue a creditor, please contact us so we can discuss options with you.

Litigation:  Contingency

If you have been sued by a debt collector we can provide the full range of bankruptcy services starting with a free initial consultation.  In an initial consultation we will discuss all options available to resolve the problem, both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options.  This will provide you with all of the information you will need to determine how to solve the problem.  If bankruptcy is necessary we charge flat-fees and we will give you a quote once we understand the size and complexity of the situation.  For an ordinary consumer a bankruptcy may cost between $1500 and $2500, including attorney’s fees, filing fee and costs.  For bankruptcy information go to:

BANKRUPTCY: Free Consultations

We have found that almost all creditor harassment and creditor disputes can be resolved without litigation.  Many individuals are too busy to take the steps to document their efforts to stop creditor harassment or resolve debt disputes.  Others do not want to be directly involved with potentially abusive debt collectors.  Some people have taken efforts to stop harassment but have been unsuccessful.  We can help.

A lawyer can help you to stop creditor harassment.  A lawyer can also help you by suing a creditor on your behalf

There are two levels at which a lawyer can help

We provide a variety of services on a flat-fee basis that can help to stop creditor harassment, to resolve debt disputes and to create a correspondence record that can be used to show violations of the FDCPA if a lawsuit must be filed to resolve a dispute or stop harassment.  This involves letters, faxes and phone calls.  Litigation is a separate service.  If litigation is necessary to resolve a dispute with a creditor we will work with you to either represent you against the creditor or to associate with a litigation specialist to take over the litigation.

When you tell a debt collector that you are represented by an attorney and you provide the debt collector with contact information for your attorney the debt collector is prohibited from contacting you directly.  This does not resolve disputes and it does not prevent a debt collector from filing a lawsuit to collect money that is owed.  However, it will stop abusive debt collectors from harassing you by phone.  For many individuals the constant phone calls from creditors is a major source of anxiety and stopping the phone calls by referring them to an attorney provides great relief.  Note that this restriction is only as to debt collectors, such as collection agencies.  If you refer the actual creditor [i.e., credit card company], they are not prohibited from continuing to call you.  Nevertheless, we have found that the vast majority of creditors will also stop calling once they have been referred to an attorney.  In those few instances where creditors have continued to call we have had our clients get fax numbers from the creditors and once we have sent faxes the creditors will always stop the phone calls.

Referring Creditor Phone Calls:  $350

If you have a dispute as to a debt (such as if you believe it is not your debt, that the dollar amount is wrong or that the debt is too old for them to sue you) or if you are suffering harassment from a debt collector, we can write letters to creditors on your behalf on a flat-fee basis.  For each disputed debt we will send correspondence by certified mail advising them of the dispute and we will follow-up until either the dispute is resolved or it is clear that litigation will be necessary to resolve the dispute.  This generally involves sending multiple letters and can take several months.  However, creditor phone calls and similar harassment should stop immediately.  If we cannot resolve a dispute in this manner, we will have an excellent record of correspondence that can be used as the basis for litigation.  If you have more than 10 creditors we can discuss a flat-fee based on the actual number of creditors.

Debt Validation and Creditor Harassment Letters:  $350 for 1 to 5 Creditors; $700 for 6-10 Creditors

If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney to review your situation and to discuss problems you are having with debt collectors and the options for resolving problems.

One Hour Consultation:  $250


When you are being harassed by creditors it is common to also have errors on your credit reports.  We have a website that will provide you with information and self-help solutions for fixing credit reporting problems.  For more information about how to correct credit reporting errors go to: