Rashad Blossom recently represented a client whose case was so dynamic that it made its way all the way to the Supreme Court. The ultimate result was the Supreme Court ruled that it should be more difficult for third-party defendants to have cases removed from state courts and moved to federal courts.
The case saw Rashad Blossom represent a North Carolina consumer named Mr. Carter. Mr. Carter filed a class action lawsuit against The Home Depot and Carolina Water Systems in the state court. Rashad Blossom assisted Mr. Carter after Home Depot decided to attempt to remove the lawsuit from the state court level to the federal court. This was done in an effort to boost their success rate in the case. Rashad Blossom was able to lay out the facts in a way that the Federal Court moved the case back to North Carolina state court. The Supreme Court took on the case when Home Depot appealed the federal court’s decision. The goal of Home Depot was to get the Federal Court to rule that any defendant could move the court that would hear the case.
When the ruling came out, Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority 5-4 decision on May 28, 2019, affirmed the federal court’s decision. This meant that the lower federal courts were correct in bouncing the case back to the state level. The Supreme Court referenced the plain meaning of the applicable statutes, which do not expressly provide for removal by third-party defendants.
Home Depot was the third-party defendant in the case. This was the case because Mr. Jackson was originally sued by Citibank in state court to collect the debt, which he incurred upon the purchase of his home water filtration system from Carolina Water Systems and Home Depot. Mr. Jackson believed he was the victim of a fraudulent referral scheme, which led him to buy a faulty $9,000 filtration system in the first instance.
In most cases, class actions are initiated by plaintiffs. It’s rare for someone like Mr. Jackson who was the initial defendant in this case and who then became a third-party plaintiff upon suing Home Depot and Carolina Water Systems, to be the one to file a class action lawsuit.
Rashad Blossom is glad that the decision shed light on a common misconception. Blossom believes there’s a misconception that state courts are plaintiff friendly when there really isn’t a bias either way, especially in the state of North Carolina. The Supreme Court’s ruling shows that they believe that anyone can get a fair trial at the state level.
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It sounds counterintuitive but all those strings that had been tying you to overwhelming financial obligations aren’t suddenly snipped upon declaring bankruptcy. While it’s true that you’ll have more room to work with, there can still be issues of impending taxes and even foreclosure if you’ve fallen behind on mortgage payments after you’ve filed bankruptcy. According to Rashad Blossom of North Carolina’s Blossom Law, the narrow path those in financial trouble must navigate often calls for a professional guide. Mr. Blossom’s hands-on approach to handling consumer protection and bankruptcy law cases has provided him with plenty of insight into tax and foreclosure issues.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, there were more than 790,000 bankruptcy filings between Sept. 30, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017. Of that approximate amount, 767,721 were non-business bankruptcy filings. This total is a 1.8 percent dip compared to the prior year-long period but is a far cry from 2008, when the Administrative Office says “a national wave of bankruptcies” crested and would eventually reach “a peak in the year ending September 2010, when nearly 1.6 million bankruptcies were filed.”
While we’ve come a long way since the Great Recession of 2008, the average American still lacks the financial confidence they may have felt before that global downturn. The truth of the matter when it comes to bankruptcy is this: If a group is legally-entitled to repayment, they are going to get their money. Some may say that you can emerge from a bankruptcy filing and wash your hands of every debt. Don’t listen to them. Rashad Blossom has been involved in this industry for more than a decade and he can tell you that even the most favorable outcomes come with some strings attached. Thus, those embroiled in back taxes, tax liens and levies, tax settlement negotiations or any other type of tax-related proceedings need the assistance of an expert to see them through. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is coming after you to collect, you’ll want an expert on your side who knows the law and can protect you from overbearing tactics.
Bankruptcy can be a double-edged sword when it comes to homeownership, too. On one hand, the home is often the greatest source of financial value that the owner has. On the other hand, these individuals struggling with repaying home loans are thus faced with the threat of foreclosure and could lose their house as a result. By deciding to file for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” is put on foreclosure and other financial proceedings. This can offer the breathing room that so many people in this predicament desperately need. Rashad Blossom grew up watching his working-class parents fight to keep a roof over his head. Today, Mr. Blossom is carrying on that fight for those who are facing economic hardships and want to avoid or pause foreclosure proceedings at all costs.
We are required by law to state that we are a debt-relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.