I have hade some rather interesting exchanges on another board about CACV/CACH (Collect America), the CA lawfirm cum CA of ill repute of P. Scott Lowery of CO. The one that has brought us such pains in the a$$es as Cambece and Bronson and Migliaccio, two of the many CACV/CACH "rent-a-lawyer" "fronts" for the CA operations.
These discussions have brought to mind brought to mind the case of "Nielsen v. Dickerson", where the attorney did mass mailings to do collections for creditors such as Household Bank, but was not collecting under his own name. Instead, he provided his letterhead for the stationery for what was a CA fill-in-the-blanks mass-mailing ("flat-rating"). Another attorney who was not involved-- but for the use of their name--was the case of "Avila v. Rubin" . (Attorney Rubin failed to meet the requirements to do "meaningful review" of the files of the debt collection cases he was pursuing .)
How does this apply to the CACV/CACH "rent-a-lawyers", as Bud Hibbs so aptly refers to them?: The letterhead of the attorney/law firm is always used for the form letter (essentially identical from franchisee to franchisee--CACV/CACH "boilerplate", in other words). It is also known (as shown in the SC attorney disciplinary case of "In the Matter of Sean Bannon Zenner" ( "Zenner"), http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=sc&vol=25418&invol=1
that the attorney does not (and likely, cannot) conduct "meaningful review" of any collection case that the CACV/CACH "rent-a-lawyer" gets contracted to collect upon.
Therefore, it should be possible to use "Nielsen v. Dickerson " (and "Avila v. Rubin", among others) as support for the argument that a CACV/CACH attorney is simply "renting" the use of the letterhead, and, by doing so, is doing a form of "flat-rating", and violating the FDCPA because of the lack of "meaningful involvement" with the collection process, and the attendant deception involved in the attorney's not meeting the requirement for "meaningful involvement", and all done without the alleged debtors knowing about the existence of this rather "convenient"--and profitable!-- arrangement.