Photo: John Disney/ALM

A debt collection law firm with offices around the country has found itself at the center of a federal lawsuit in South Florida.

Brock & Scott was named as the defendant in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. The firm, which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has offices in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

But a new lawsuit accuses the firm of violating the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act in its work against Fort Lauderdale resident Virginia Frick.


Read the complaint: 


As detailed by the plaintiffs attorney, North Palm Beach lawyer John Skrandel, Brock & Scott and his client had clashed before this suit.

“We had an underlying collection case they handled and was settled for their client SunTrust,” Skrandel said. “We reached an agreement where [Frick] was going to make payments … and she made payments.”

The attorney explained that the current trouble began when his client paid for several months at once. According to Skrandel, he negotiated specifically for Frick to be able to make advance payments in a provision of the original settlement.

John J.R. Skrandel of the Jerome Skrandel law firm in North Palm Beach.

“They rejected it,” he said. “I tried contacting them to let them know they screwed up. They sent a nasty letter saying the entire agreement was void.”

Skrandel said Frick was asked to pay double the amount of her original debt with a new total of $47,694.47. “My client is elderly, has health issues … and it’s weighing heavily on her,” he said.

Skrandel noted he has yet to receive a response from any attorneys at Brock & Scott. The lawyer insisted the firm had no grounds to reject his client’s payment in light of her pre-existing settlement and protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act . “Attorneys need to be very careful. They have responsibilities, and someone dropped the ball here somewhere,” Skrandel said. “It seems they never make mistakes that favor someone else. They always make mistakes that favor themselves.”

A consumer contact manager with Brock & Scott told the DBR he was not authorized to comment on the litigation. Attempts to reach founding partners Thomas Brock and Gregory Scott were not answered by press time.

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