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ABA Reminder to Prosecutors: Owing Money Is Not A Crime

posted by Bob Lawless

In November, the American Bar Association issued a formal opinion that it was unethical for prosecutors to allow debt collectors to use prosecutorial letterhead when no member of the prosecutor's staff reviews the file to determine if it is likely a crime has been committed. The most amazing thing about the opinion is that it had to be said at all.

I missed the story when it first came out, but Deepak Gupta was all over it at the Consumer Law & Policy Blog with a post and some screen shots of what these letters look like. Also, the ABA Journal has a story abou the ethics opinion.

Comments

You might be amazed at the number of businesses that, when I was a small town prosecutor, thought I should be their collection attorney. I said, "No." It's probably one of the things that got me unelected.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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