Monday, September 9, 2013

Nathanial D. Kitz - Review of RSIEH Debt Collection Attorney

Nathanial D. Kitz – Individual profile of debt collection attorney

Texas-licensed attorney Nathanial D Kitz is associated with the debt collection law firm RAUSCH, STURM, ISRAEL, ENERSON & HORNIK, LLC, whose offices are located in Addison, Texas ("RAUSCH"). Kitz appears as attorney in charge in lawsuits filed on behalf of credit card issuers such as CAPITAL ONE BANK USA N.A. and  CITIBANK (SOUTH DAKOTA) N.A., now CITIBANK, N.A..

Attorney Kitz's Texas bar card number is 24080988


Nathanial D. Kitz
15851 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 245
Addison TX 75001
Fax: (877) 492-5185


The firm address block on pleadings and motions signed and filed by Attorney Kitz lists the names of numerous other Texas attorneys associated with the same firm.  As of 2013, the roster included the following in addition to Nathanial D. Kitz:

Seung W. Chae
Shaun G. Brown
Michael R. Castro
Timothy A. Gasaway
Fallon Hamilton
Jeffrey S. Kramer
Steve Javandoost
Jamila B. Lloyd
Yvonne Mikulik

The mailing address for all of these debt collection attorneys is the same office in Addison, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas. But the firm's attorneys file lawsuit in many counties around the state.
Kitz's signature is not legible. He typically circles his name on the list of attorneys to identify himself as the signer, and as responsible for the pleading. (--> Rule 13 of the TRCP).


Kitz and his colleagues at the RAUSCH law firm file pleading generated with document production software that inserts case-specific data, such defendant's name and the amount sued for, into electronic templates. As a result, the initial pleadings in hundreds of cases look alike. The same is true of motions.  

The typical initial pleading filed by RAUSCH attorneys is titled "Plaintiff's Original Petition & First Discovery Requests". (In Texas state courts, the initial document is called the Original Petition. In federal court, and in many other states, the document filed to commence a civil action is called Complaint.) Not all debt collection attorneys attach discovery requests to their pleadings. RAUSCH attorneys do, which explains that additional language in the title of its pleadings.


TITLE AND LENGTH. A typical petition filed by attorneys with the RAUSCH law firm consists of three single-spaced pages divided into 19 numbered paragraphs and sections designated with letters A through K. Because it is more detailed and single-spaced, it looks busier than the pleadings filed by other law firms in similar cases. It also contains more details and citations to legal cases, albeit from different states.

CAUSE OF ACTION. Although it is longer than comparable petition, the sole theory of recovery invoked by a typical RAUSCH petition is Breach of Contract.

FACTS: WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT NOT.  In contrast to the initial pleadings filed by debt collection attorneys operating independently or working for other lawfirms, RAUSCH petitions contain a section of Facts that contains the variable information for the particular case. It identifies the issuing bank and the account upon which the suit is based with the last four digits of the credit card/account number. It also provides the charge-off date and states the total balance due "plus interest". No details are given regarding additional interest, the rate of such interest, or the starting date for accrual, which could be the charge-off date of the date the suit was filed. One can only speculate.  

The prayer at the end of the petition asks for "actual damages" in the amount matching the amount alleged as  the total due on the account in the fact section, and requests "pre-judgment" and "post-judgment interest" without any further details and without specifying whether either form of interest is based on contract or statute. (--> statutory interest, judgment interest).

RAUSCH petitions differ from more basic pleadings filed by other attorneys for credit card companies (or debt buyers) in that they contain several less common, if not unique, paragraphs.

A paragraph on Damages characterizes the debt claim as liquidated (--> liquidated damages) and reiterates the amount alleged as "due" in the fact section, but at the same time qualifies the assertion of the amount of damages with the phrase "at least" preceding the amount and "plus interest" following it.  This very short paragraph on damages does not state an interest rate either.

As of 2013, RAUSCH petitions do not seek attorney's fees. Therefore, there is no paragraph on such fees.

A paragraph titled "Miscellany" identifies Plaintiff's attorneys as debt collectors, and advises the defendant that the undersigned attorney is attempting to collect a debt. This paragraph was presumably inserted into the pleading template as a safeguard against and preempt claims of that the law firm and its attorneys failed to comply with notice and disclosure requirements of the FDCPA.

The final paragraph preceding the prayer references "Plaintiff's First Discovery Request", which is attached as a separate document. This is the correct procedure for serving discovery requests contemporaneously with the citation and original petition. Some attorneys routinely flout the rule that prohibits the court-filing of discovery requests by including them within the body of their petitions. Incorporating discovery requests into the petition itself necessarily results in them being filed with the pleading.


The RAUSCH law firms' standard set of discovery requests in debt collection suits is served together with the citation and original petition (whose title expressly refers to the discovery requests). It consists of all four types of paper discovery: Requests for Disclosure; Requests for Production; Requests for Admission; and Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories. The latter (with are also called ROGs in the legal community) includes a pre-printed form for verification under oath with a blank jurat for the notary public. (See Sample verification of ROGS and jurat).


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1 comment:

  1. This is good information. My question relates as to whether anyone has found flaws in the petition itself? Is it grounded in good law? The comment regarding their attempt to comply with the FDCPA is also helpful.

    The problem with serving disclosure and other discovery requests with the initial complaint is that under Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the respondent has 50 DAYS to answer the discovery (from the date defendant was served) as opposed to 30 days, if the discovery were served separately from the original complaint / petition.

    Sometimes serving the discovery with the complaint backfires because if the Defendant/Respondent has a good lawyer, the lawyer will immediately fire back with his own written discovery, which if timed properly, would require the Plaintiff to proffer his responses to Defendant before the Defendant has to proffer his responses. At the end of the day - it doesn't really make any difference, especially if there are no earth shattering consequences at stake. Some people look at serving discovery with the complaint as "getting the drop on the other party", but many times get dropped on themselves when the Plaintiff ends up having to answer discovery BEFORE he (his attorney) gets his answers back.