People who are being hounded by debt collectors oftentimes don’t realize they have grounds to turn the tables on their pursuers, according to attorney Ryan Hasanbasic.
“There are simple things that people in these situations wouldn’t necessarily recognize as a violation, but they are, and they happen all the time,” he says. “For instance, if a debt collector leaves a voice mail on your phone and if they don’t identify themselves as a debt collector, that’s a violation.”
For that reason, he says, people facing problems with debt collectors should contact the attorneys at Disparti, Fowkes & Hasanbasic to discuss their situation and see whether they may have a case.
“We also teach consumers how to document their own case,” Hasanbasic said. “A lot of people don’t know how to respond to debt collectors. They don’t know that they should take notes and document everything. We teach them how to do that.”
In 2011, Hasanbasic joined forces with attorneys Paul R. Fowkes and Lawrence Disparti to create a firm focused primarily on representing consumers facing problems with debt collectors. Prior to that time, he practiced in a large insurance defense firm, where he worked in the commercial-litigation department.
In addition to his work on behalf of people in debt, he also maintains a personal-injury law practice with the associated Disparti Law Group.
Hasanbasic received a B.A. in political science, graduating magna cum laude at the University of Massachusetts in his home state. He then enrolled at Stetson University School of Law, where he was a member of the Stetson Law Review and recipient of the RudenMcClosky Distinguished Writing Award, graduating cum laude.
After getting his J.D., Hasanbasic enjoyed his work as a commercial litigation in a defense firm. But he derives greater satisfaction representing individuals. “I like helping consumers,” he says, “as opposed to what I did for several years on the defense side, which was trying to prevent them from recovering.”
His practice takes him regularly into both state and federal courts, bringing cases thatresult from a wide variety of improper behaviors on the parts of debt collectors.
“Harassment is part of it,” he says. “But there are also misrepresentations, unfair practices, and third party communications. And there are technical violations, such as things they’re not supposed to include in letters—things that consumers may not necessarily recognize as something that’s harassing but which is a violation nonetheless.”
Some, but not all, cases involve egregious behavior. “The message we want to send is that anyone who’s getting contacted from debt collectors should call us so that we can review the situation to see if there are any violations.”
When he’s not practicing law, Hasanbasic likes to relax with his family and, when time allows, play golf.