• Report: #351444

Complaint Review: Hugh Shafritz; LWT, Inc; Shafritz & Braten, PA

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  • Submitted: Tue, July 15, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, September 04, 2008

  • Reported By:Lake Butler Florida
Hugh Shafritz; LWT, Inc; Shafritz & Braten, PA
25 Seabreeze Ave Suite 401 Or 400 Delray Beach, Florida U.S.A.
  • Phone: 561-278-7828
  • Web:
  • Category: Lawyers

Hugh Shafritz, LWT, IncHugh Shafritz; LWT, Inc; Shafritz & Braten, PA Bought up an old credit card debt, sued me for written-off amount + fees + interest Delray Beach Florida

*Author of original report: I found good case law, and still lost in court

*Author of original report: UPDATE

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A few weeks ago I received a certified letter from Shafritz and Braten, PA, which contained a complaint that they had served against me for small claims court, showing that they had been unable to serve the complaint, and therefore served it on the Attorney General of the State of Florida, by claiming that they had information to the effect that I was deliberately concealing my whereabouts in order to avoid service of the complaint.

I live alone, and was working at the time. Turns out that the only information that they had to suggest anything about me was that the Sheriff's deputies had twice stated that my home appeared abandoned. This is apparently because I had a motorcycle accident in 2003, and was unable to keep up the property properly for a couple of years after that, and when I finally decided to get the lawn mower out, it would not start, and I could not afford to replace it. The front steps are overgrown with blackberries and grass. HOWEVER, the electricity has been on continuously during the period in which they tried to serve me, there were potted plants which would not survive without daily water, and the driveway is clear where the tire tracks are, not overgrown, and they failed to check with the neighbors, and there is a pet food dish with fresh food in it every day, and 40 or so blueberry plants with drip irrigation that runs twice a day, and they may even have heard the heat pump come on. The deputies were thus negligent in stating that the property appeared to be abandoned.

Still, their negligence does not begin to state why they were unable to serve the complaint, and in no way suggests that I was deliberately concealing my whereabouts to avoid service of this complaint.

I intend to file a lawsuit against both LWT, Inc and Shafritz and Braten, PA, for lilbel, and/or slander, and/or mailicious prosecution. So I checked with the Florida corporate registry, and discovered that the ONLY listed shareholder, director and officer of LWT, Inc is one Hugh Shafritz, presumably one and the same as the lead attorney in Shafritz and Braten, PA. This creates a conflict of interest, and so I will also be filing complaints with the Florida Bar Association, and with the Attorney General of the State of Florida. The basis for the latter is that they fraudulently obtained service of the complaint against me on behalf of their client, LWT, Inc.

If anyone else has any problems at all with these people, I would suggest at minimum filing a complaint with the Florida Bar, and filing all appropriate legal action against the plaintiff, LWT, Inc and the attorneys, Shafritz and Braten, PA. Ask the Judge in the case to not allow Shafritz and Braten, PA to represent LWT, Inc, as there is an inherent conflict of interest there.

You can represent yourself in small claims court, and anything that would be an appropriate counter-claim can be used to offset any judgment they may be able to obtain. If they have libeled you, for instance, that would be an appropriate counterclaim.

In addition, threaten to file bankruptcy if that is at all appropriate. In my case, I have no income other than Social Security, and my mortgage payment eats up virtually all of that, bankruptcy is the only way to save my homestead from them. Since they are continuing to throw good money after bad, knowing that I will do whatever it takes to protect my homestead, I believe that they are guilty as well, of malicious prosecution.

John
Lake Butler, Florida
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/15/2008 09:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hugh-Shafritz-LWT-Inc-Shafritz-Braten-PA/Delray-Beach-Florida-33483/Hugh-Shafritz-LWT-IncHugh-Shafritz-LWT-Inc-Shafritz-Braten-PA-Bought-up-an-old-cre-351444. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

I found good case law, and still lost in court

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

After I filed the last report, I filed complaints against Shafritz and Braten with the Florida Bar, which stated that they had not violated any rules of professional conduct, and were dropping the investigation. I just came from a hearing on their motion for summary judgment, having expected to be victorious.

I had a eureka moment one night, while trying to get to sleep, that I never saw such a cardholder agreement that did not contain a provision that the agreement would be governed by the bank's home state laws. This is called a choice-of-law agreement. They argued that since nobody had a written contract, it did not qualify as an open account, but had a 4-year statute of limitations in Florida and 5 years in Arizona. Federal law defines a charge account as an open or stated account, so I believe that the judge erred, and I will be filing an appeal. The three year statute in Arizona on open or stated accounts should have applied, and would have made their filing more than nine months after the statute of limitations had expired. I cannot believe that I lost this hearing. The local free legal clinic had pretty much assured me that I would win.

I even found a case which is not reported in Southern 2d, but is available in Westlaw--LWT, Inc v. Brodsky--which had a similar basis, and Brodsky won, apparently in both small claims court and in the appeal.

I will be appealing.
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#2 Author of original report

UPDATE

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

This is an update to my existing report.

I should first note a casual error in my previous report. When I said Attorney General, it turns out it was the Secretary of State, of the state of Florida. I did not have the information in front of me when I filed the original report, and so got that part wrong.

First, in Florida, all of the things he said about me concealing my whereabouts are protected under Florida law. He can in fact say anything he wants about me, even if he knows it is untrue! But I CAN sue him for malicious prosecution.

I filed a complaint with the Florida Bar, and they say that there was no violation of the rules of professional conduct. I believe (and have said to them) that the Florida Bar is an organization of criminals protecting their members, and that the state should be only one to regulate the conduct of attorneys. I expect to have grounds later to file another complaint which will detail a violation of those rules of professional conduct, however.

I had a eureka moment, and checked into the statute of limitations, and I expect to be able to prove at our Sep 4th hearing, that they knew, reasonably should have known, or had a duty to know that the complaint was filed long after it was time-barred by the statute of limitations.

I also will ask the judge to award me legal fees. By law I am entitled to be paid the same hourly rate as a local lawyer would charge for defending me, and I have kept a record of my hours. I'll let you know if I win big on this one, but I don't see any reason why I should not!
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