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Donald Edward Petersen

Class action Attorney at Orlando, FL

5.0   5 reviews
  • Licensed for 35 years
    State FL
    Acquired 1988
    Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Donald

Learn Donald’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Class action
    I represent consumers in class actions against companies that violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by sending junk faxes or making robo-calls to cell phones, and violations of the FDCPA and/or the FCCPA.

    18 years, 4 cases

  2. Debt collection
    I represent consumers who are receiving letters or whom debt collectors are attempting to collect accounts from by harassing the consumer (including the consumer's employer, relatives, friends, or neighbors). I represent consumers who are being sued

    32 years, 200 cases

  3. Litigation
    Primarily representing consumers with several major complex litigation cases (qui tam health care fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, derivatives, and systemic fraud on consumers).

    35 years, 400 cases

  4. Bankruptcy and debt
    After representing debtors in bankruptcy for approximately 15 years, my clients' problems after they receive their discharge taught me that the system is "broken". I have dedicated several years to investigating industry practices and the legal theories which can be used to combat the financial disservices industries continuing violations of the bankruptcy code, Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and other federal and state laws.

    32 years, 800 cases

  5. Credit repair
    I represent consumers in actions brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") arising from : (1) post-bankruptcy credit reporting; (2) identity theft; (3) mismerged credit reports; (4) invasion of privacy; and (5) a variety of debt collectors' violations. Florida consumers who have inaccurate information on their credit reports are welcome to contact me. (I do not assist consumers in disputing debts which are reported accurately.)

    32 years, 300 cases

  6. Consumer protection
    I represent consumers and small businesses against companies that sell products which are by design unable to perform to specification or the manufacturer refuses to honor their warranty.

    35 years, 30 cases

  7. Identity theft
    I represent consumers in actions brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") arising from : (1) post-bankruptcy credit reporting; (2) identity theft; (3) mismerged credit reports; (4) invasion of privacy; and (5) a variety of debt collectors' violations.

    23 years, 12 cases

  8. Health care
    I represent relators in qui tam false claims actions in the health care and defense industries. I also have extensive experience in banking, derivatives, and securities fraud as independent counsel for federal banking agencies.

    31 years, 6 cases

  9. Banking

    35 years, 10 cases

  10. Chapter 13 bankruptcy

    32 years, 100 cases

  11. Chapter 7 bankruptcy

    32 years, 600 cases

  12. Credit card fraud

    23 years, 10 cases

  13. Debt settlement

    23 years, 1 case

  14. Foreclosure

    23 years, 10 cases

  15. Government contracts

    31 years, 5 cases

I proudly represent consumers in lawsuits against debt collectors, furnishers of false or obsolete credit information, credit reporting agencies, and  furnishers of credit information concerning accounts which were discharged in bankruptcy.   

I also defend consumers who are being sued by credit card issuers and debt collectors who sued my clients to collect consumer accounts.


If you wish to contact me concerning representation, feel free to contact me by calling or via e-mail.  Please be sure to include telephone numbers where my staff or I can contact you directly if I decide that is more efficient.  Please also include a brief (1 or 2 sentences) description of  your situation. 


Thank you for your interest in my services.


Donald Petersen


A technical note : I've chosen the AVVO categories that I believe best describe my practice to non-lawyers.   Although much of my practice involves "debt collection", I represent only consumers who SUE the debt collectors who violated my clients' rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA").   (I do NOT represent any businesses in lawsuits against consumers or defend debt collectors who are sued.)    A substantial portion of my practice consists of representing consumers in matters arising under or involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") so I chose "credit repair" as the closest applicable category although I do not provide "credit repair" services as lawyers would use this term nor do I recommend that consumers use credit repair organizations.

Contact Donald

Donald Edward Petersen
Po Box 1948
Orlando, FL, 328021948


5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Jay | December 15, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent in Consumer Debt Collection
Mr. Petersen is extremely knowledgable in consumer debt collection and consumer collection cases. Hired this attorney for an aggressive debt collector that had incorrectly reported to credit report and was calling continually, violating several laws. He was able to quickly resolve the issue and represent me in the court case. He thoroughly understands and defends consumer rights against these companies that will try to bully you while they knowingly violate laws, and I had utmost confidence in his handling he case. He is on your side as a consumer, and fee structure was very fair. I have hired numerous attorneys over the years for different needs, and for consumer collection and litigation he is the best I've hired, can't recommend enough.
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Posted by Hans Maslo | February 27, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Terrific Advice
I called the counselor's office line, he answered and after listening to my foreclosure matter he gave me some great advice on how to proceed. He was very direct, to the point and after about 15 minutes I had a pretty good idea on how to proceed. Never once was compensation discussed and I was not charged for his valuable time. I would highly recommend Mr. Petersen.
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Posted by C. Wellborn | February 15, 2015
Impressed with first conversation
My son wants to take over the matter and I want him to. The issue was about his father's debt, so I have not hired Mr. Petersen yet. I had called Mr. Petersen right after a strange call from a debt collector. It was right before Christmas and he still took the time to talk to me, even in detail. He seemed very knowledgable and no nonsense. He said "Just answer my questions" which was difficult because the situation was goofy and I felt he needed more details, but I believe it was because he knew so well what he was doing...very experienced with debt collection. He gave me step one which I did and am still waiting on the collector or bank to prove the debt. I would feel comfortable hiring Mr. Petersen and I believe I am very choosey when it comes to attorneys. He seemed to genuinely care about helping folks over earning money, so I believe he will be blessed for that.
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Posted by Jan | January 23, 2014
Can not recommend more.
I was served by a third party debt collector (at work none the less) for an old credit card from my prior marriage. After researching the company suing me I was determined to not let myself be one of the folks who rolls over and simply gives in. I researched several Attorneys and after seeing the amount of information Attorney Petersen had on his web site (very detailed and informative on the debt collecting business) he was one of several that I contacted. Most called me back relatively quickly but none spent the time on the initial phone call that Attorney Petersen did. After that conversation I had a gut feeling that he was my guy. I met with Attorney Petersen shortly thereafter and was extremely impressed by his knowledge, quickness and the notion to me that he thinks outside the box. (It should be noted that those seeking an Attorney with an Armani suit, flashy contemporary office furniture and a TV pitch should look elsewhere). To sum Attorney Petersen was not only extremely capable but also sincere and genuine. He also gave more time to my case than I ever imagined and not once did I feel like he was there to get as much money from me as he could. Rather I felt he was there to do battle for me and that he certainly did. In the end my outcome was more than I could if ever wished for. I've met a lot of lawyers (I dated one for three years) and I can sincerely state that Attorney Petersen is absolutely the best I've had the pleasure to have met.
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Posted by Deborah | December 16, 2013
Donald Edward Petersen
Mr. Petersen spent a great deal of time to understand my situation and the background. He is very knowledgable of the debt collection laws in Florida as well as the rest of the nation. His representation of me reflected his concern for my best interests. Thanks to Mr. Petersen's expertise, and efforts, my case was dismissed. I highly recommend Mr. Petersen for matters related to debt collection.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 9.4 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Law Office of Donald E. Petersen
  • 1992 - Present
  • Senior Attorney
  • Florida Department of Insurance
  • 1990 - 1992
  • Associate
  • Commander, Legler, Werber, Dawes, Sadler & Howell
  • 1988 - 1990
  • Program Planner
  • Martin Marietta Orlando Aerospace
  • 1980 - 1985
View all work experience


  • Duke University School of Law
  • Law (With Honors)
  • 1988
  • Rollins College
  • MBA
  • 1984
  • University of Central Florida
  • B.S.B.A.
  • 1980

Legal Cases

  • Ray Palmer Jr. on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Dynamic Recovery Solutions LLC and Cascade Capital LLC
  • Final Class Certification Approved
  • U.S. ex rel Mettevelis & Rowan v. Charter Hospital of St. Louis, Inc. d/b/a Charter Hospital Orlando South, et. al.
  • Settled on the eve of trial.
  • Rosario & Phillips v. American Corrective Counselling
  • Reopened class representative's bankruptcy


  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 2012 - Present
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1996 - Present
  • United States Court of Claims
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1995 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1993 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
  • Orange County Bar Association, Bankruptcy Law Committee
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Admitted to Practice
  • 1989 - Present
  • Consumer Protection Law Committee
  • Member
  • 2003 - 2008
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2003 - 2008
View all associations

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida
  • 2010
  • J.D. with Honors; Project Editor, Law & Contemporary Problems
  • Duke University School of Law
  • 1988
  • M.B.A. with Honors; Corporate Council Award
  • Crummer School of Business (Rollins College)
  • 1984
  • B.S.B.A. Summa Cum Laude; Beta Gamma Sigma
  • University of Central Florida
  • 1980
View all awards


  • La Coe's Pleadings Under The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Forms for defending consumers in collection actions
  • 2006
  • Consumer Law Pleadings
  • Contributor : Forms for defending collection actions against Florida consumers
  • 2005
  • Corporate Compliance Officer
  • "Why Employees Bring Whistleblower Cases"
  • 1999
  • Computer Law Newsletter
  • "Southern District of Florida Follows Altai"
  • 1995
  • Law and Contemporary Problems
  • Project Editor : "Vice" Vol. 51, No. 1, Winter, 1988
  • 1988
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • The Florida Bar : Annual Convention
  • Recent Influential Consumer Law Cases : Fair Debt Collection Practices Act & Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • 2014
  • HFC Collection Center v. S.A.
  • Testifying expert concerning attorney fees
  • 2013
  • WFTV (TV9)
  • "Man Sued By Check Cashing Store" (News Interview)
  • 2012
  • Testified as expert witness re : consumer's attorney fees in Arrow Financial v. R.J.
  • Collection Action
  • 2009
  • Testified as expert witness in Capital One v. J.S.
  • Collection Action
  • 2009
  • "Ask An Attorney"
  • Consumer Rights : Debt Collection & Credit Reporting
  • 2008
  • Interview : "Predatory Mortgage Lending & Foreclosures"
  • Predatory Lending
  • 2007
  • "Real Talk With Kietta" (UPN)
  • Identity Theft
  • 2005
  • Consumer Awareness Symposium
  • Predatory Lending
  • 2002
  • Compliance: The Real Picture
  • Qui Tam False Claims Act actions against health care providers
  • 2001
  • HealthCon 2000 (Toronto Canada)
  • Using The Qui Tam Provisions of the False Claims Act to Punish, Deter And Prevent Health Care Fraud
  • 2000
  • Florida Association of Medical Coders : Annual Conference
  • Qui Tam False Claims Act actions against health care providers
  • 2000
  • Florida Employment Lawyers Association Winter Seminar
  • Introduction to the Qui Tam Provisions of the False Claims Act For the Plaintiff's Employment Lawyer
  • 1999
  • "Investigative Reports" with Tony Pippitone
  • Charter Settles Qui Tam Action
  • 1998
  • "Employment Law"
  • Employee Rights in the Workplace
  • 1994
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (22)
Endorse Donald
Debt collection Attorney | Mar 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Don Petersen is an outstanding consumer rights attorney, to whom I would be proud to refer any client or even a family member, without hesitation. As many other fellow attorneys reviewing Don have indicated, his knowledge of consumer rights, collections, alternatives to bankruptcy, and procedural laws are all superb. Orlando truly is fortunate to have such an exceptional consumer advocate to help regular people fight unfair tactics often utilized by big business. I have consulted with Don in various areas of his practice. I have always been extremely impressed with his ability to drill down the issues, and think of a solution. Best of all, he does not charge unless he wins, and then is paid by creditors, not the debtor. So, for anyone dealing with harassing creditors, or harassing phone calls to mobile devices from creditors, calling Don should be a no-brainer. Consultations are free."
Debt collection Attorney | May 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Don and known of Don for probably a decade. I gladly endorse him for his legal skills and knowledge. He knows debt collector harassment law and how to explain it so people can understand it. He has even taught other lawyers about Credit Rights laws that few understand at all. You can read some of his answers to questions that have been published at Avvo and you'll see that he cares about making sure his clients know their rights too. And when you read some of his excellent blog articles at you too will see that he knows the law, cares about his clients, and likes to win. More important, he knows how to win too. If you have a problem with your credit or a debt collector is hounding you and you want to get back your peace of mind, Don knows how to do that for you. He is one of the very best, anywhere. I highly recommend him to you."
Debt collection Attorney | Mar 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Bankruptcy and debt Attorney | Nov 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer wholeheartedly. Don's knowledge and experience set him apart from his peers. I believe this to the extent that I refer my clients to him for his expertise."
Debt collection Attorney | Jul 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Donald Peterson is a highly skilled and an experienced Attorney. He is dedicated to providing high quality representation to his clients. He is a leader in the attorney networking community and moderates several community forums. He is thoughtful, passionate about helping his clients through their difficult matters. I consider him a friend, and excellent attorney. I endorse Donald Edward Peterson."
Debt collection Attorney | Dec 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Mr. Petersen for a number of years and find him to be an extremely knowledgeable consumer advocate who I endorse without any reservation whatsoever."
Debt collection Attorney | Jul 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Don Petersen is my go-to guy in Florida for collection defense and consumer bankruptcy matters. I have known Don for more than a decade, and I highly recommend him for any Florida consumer who has been sued by a creditor or debt collector or who has experienced collection harassment."
Debt and lending agreements Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Don is one of the most knowledgable attorneys in his area of the country...Florida is lucky to have such a compassionate and intelligent attorney!"
Credit repair Attorney | May 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Don Petersen has been a consumer protection attorney for a long time and he has invested hundreds of hours becoming an expert at his trade. Whether it is defending a credit card collection case, filing a bankruptcy or pursing debtor collectors for abusive collection practices, Don is known to have the grit necessary to pursue these cases to the end. He is one of Orange County's best kept secrets."
Debt collection Attorney | Dec 01
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I worked with Mr. Peterson representing a client being sued by a third party collections agency. Mr. Peterson knowledge of this area of law was astounding. He depth of understanding the nuances of the procedural practices are equally as impressive. He is tenacious in standing up for the client's rights and armed with the knowledge to back his aggressive approach. I would highly recommend him to any client or counsel."
View more endorsements
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