Barbara Fernandez focuses her litigation practice in the areas of consumer and class action litigation. She has extensive experience in the defense of individual and class action claims involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and practices regularly in Florida state and federal courts.
Her clients include lending institutions, debt collection agencies, debt buyers and lawyers. Ms. Fernandez has designed and conducted training workshops for clients in the consumer lending industry regarding compliance with the FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA.
In the consumer and class action litigation arena, Ms. Fernandez has successfully handled complex claims against her clients. For example, in 2015 she was able to resolve a potential multi-million dollar class action against a Fortune 500 client for cents on the dollar.
Ms. Fernandez also serves as the Office Mentor Coordinator (OMC) of the Miami office. The OMC is responsible for administering the mentor program in her office and serving as an advisor for young attorneys in challenging situations. Ms. Fernandez is Co-Chair of Hinshaw’s Hispanic/Latino Attorney Network.
In 2016, she served as a supervising attorney at Florida International University College of Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic, where she taught consumer protection law and supervised student-lawyers handling consumer claims. Ms. Fernandez currently serves as an adjunct professor at Florida International University College of Law, where she teaches Legal Skills and Values III.
Ms. Fernandez has experience in handling Magnusson-Moss warranty claims, Florida Lemon Law matters, actions involving vicarious liability of rental and leasing companies, as well as defending claims involving catastrophic personal injuries, motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, defamation and civil theft.
In 2000, while still in law school, Ms. Fernandez served a judicial internship with the Third District Court of Appeal. In addition to her other law school accomplishments, Ms. Fernandez served as Vice President of the Hispanic Law Student Association. Ms. Fernandez was a member of the Evaluation Committee for Hinshaw’s Attorney Life Committee.
Representative Matters :
- Obtained summary judgment in defense of debt buyer where court found that debt buyer reasonably relied on the electronic records provided to it by the creditor and conducted a reasonable investigation of debtor’s dispute based upon the information provided by debtor, and therefore, did not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §1681. (Lead counsel, M.D.Fla. 2015).
- Obtained summary judgment in defense of debt collector and imposition of sanctions against debtor’s counsel for unreasonably continuing to pursue meritless claims warranting a finding of bad faith in FDCPA action. (Co-counsel, Southern District of Florida).
- Bolanos v. First Investors Servicing Corp., 2010 WL 4457347 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 29, 2010), where the court dismissed plaintiff’s case and compelled arbitration, finding that claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act are not exempted from arbitration.
- Valencia v. Affiliated Group, Inc., 2009 WL 4893113 (S.D. Fla. September 21, 2009), where the court made an across-the-board reduction of 60 percent to plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because plaintiff’s attorney wasted time and energy attempting to obtain additional equitable relief unmistakably precluded by case law only to recover one dollar less than defendant had offered in an Offer of Judgment ten months earlier.
- Conner v. BCC Financial Management Services, Inc., 489 F.Supp.2d 1358 (S.D. Fla. 2007), where the court held that, under Florida law, a consumer does not have a private cause of action against a debt collection agency for its alleged failure to maintain a registration with the state of Florida.
Professional Affiliations :
- Hispanic National Bar Association
- Cuban American Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- American Bar Association
- American Collector’s Association, Members Attorney Program
- J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 2001
- B.S., cum laude, Florida International University, 1997
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Rate : $$$$