Maryland regulators officially revoked the collection licenses of defunct law firm Mann Bracken LLP, seven months after issuing a cease and desist order and suspending the firm's licenses. Mann Bracken closed in January, see story, and up to 25,000 collection lawsuits were dismissed. The firm went into receivership in February.
The origins of the firm's collapse date back more than a year. In July 2009, the National Arbitration Forum agreed to stop arbitrating collection disputes, including ones involving Mann Bracken. The NAF did so under pressure from Minnesota regulators who were concerned that it shared common ownership with Mann Bracken.
Mann Bracken’s affiliated support-services company, Axiant LLC, with which it shared office space in Rockville, Md., filed for bankruptcy. A few weeks later, Mann Bracken sent letters to district court clerks in Maryland stating the firm would shut down. It stopped accepting payments from debtors and its phones were shut off. The developments led the firm’s cases to be dismissed and the licensing board to suspend Mann Bracken’s collection agency license.
Since then, several former Mann Bracken attorneys formed a new debt collection law firm - Kramer, Meggison & Taylor LLC, see story.