They are at it again and I am sick of it. A law firm in Arizona is trying to take advantage of my bankruptcy clients – using non-lawyers as proxies to foment what they know is a legal fallacy. Who are these people? An Arizona Law Firm named Bass & Associates. I wrote a blog and issued a press release a few months ago about their practices and it needs to stop. It’s all about PMSI’s or Purchase Money Security Interests. It’s when a lender takes a security interest in a piece of property or collateral at the time of purchase . Well lately, companies like Best Buy and it’s card issuer HSBC are claiming that they have a PMSI in basically anything you purchase at their stores. Sounds ridiculous – well it is. The Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) states that an agreement must sufficiently identify the collateral for the creditor to have a security interest. The credit card “Terms and Conditions” clause (that is in the really tiny print on these credit contracts) usually fails to identify any collateral – it just states “durable goods.” You cannot generalize – it’s got to be specific – “computer” – “printer” – “guitar” – if the contract fails to indicate there is a security agreement – then it does not create a PMSI lien on the goods. So what’s the big deal? Well in a bankruptcy, these credit card companies usually get nothing back and they want their goods returned. But they are not entitled to get it back unless they follow the rules. So basically, they are getting rewarded for dishing out credit to everyone with a pulse and now what their property back. That is not how it works. Read my previous blogabout how these same people tried to take back merchandise they were not entitled to get back – and tried to pull a fast one! You have to follow the law – and unless they follow the proper procedure – they cannot collect. So beware, don’t rollover – read your contract carefully – and call a bankrutpcy lawyer if need be.
Bennett Cunningham is a Bankruptcy Attorney licensed in Texas and is a former Investigative Reporter for the CBS Television Station in Dallas. Mr. Cunningham has garnered 7 Regional Emmy Awards, including the Best Investigative Reporter in Texas 2 years in a row, as well as several National Awards for his exposés into the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars and government waste.
This blog is not meant to give you legal advice. If you need to seek legal advice, you should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.