If you are facing a debt collection proceeding, you may find yourself dealing with third-party consumer debt collectors who are harassing and unprofessional in the way they pursue a debt.
If one of those companies is the company, Eastern Account System, it is important that you understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
First, a debtor must understand what protections he or she has when facing collection proceedings. All of this is governed by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), which is part of a larger act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Created in 1977, the FDCPA protects debtors against unfair consumer debt collection practices committed by third-party debt collectors, such as Eastern Account System. The law gives rules that all debt collectors are expected to follow when collecting on a debt.
If Eastern Account System violates one of these rules, the debtor can sue and seek compensation for damages sustained as a result of these violations.
About Eastern Account System
Eastern Account System is a third-party debt collector based in New York. Eastern Account System assists businesses and medical practices in collecting upon their accounts receivable.
Their collection efforts include demand letters and pre-litigation collection proceedings, phone calls, reporting to credit bureaus and pursuing legal claims, if necessary.
Determining If a Claim Exists
It is possible that an FDCPA violation has occurred to a debtor without that person realizing it. The FDCPA prevents debt collectors, like Eastern Account System, from behavior that is considered unprofessional and unethical, including:
- If Eastern Account System has contacted debtors at “odd hours,” which normally means before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If Eastern Account System has made threats to the debtor or used violent language when communicating with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If Eastern Account System has threatened to file a law suit when they have no intention of pursuing a legal claim against the debtor;
- If Eastern Account System has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If Eastern Account System has contacted the debtor at his work or place of business when he or she has specifically stated that no personal calls are to be made there;
- If Eastern Account System has spoken with third parties connected to the debtor in an effort to seek information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If Eastern Account System has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If any of the above behavior has happened to the debtor, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim to be filed in state court.
What Damages Are Available?
In all FDCPA claims, the debtor is entitled to receive statutory damages in the amount of no more than $1,000. In addition, the debtor can seek what are known as actual damages.
These damages can include compensation for physical or emotional distress, including medical bills or treatment needed for related illnesses or injuries the debtor has endured because of the physical distress resulting from the harassment.
In addition, if the debtor has also had to lose time at work because of this harassment and stress, the actual damages can include lost wages.
However, for actual damages to be awarded, he or she must be successful in proving they occurred and in showing a connection to the injury and the behavior exhibited by Eastern Account System. Reasonable attorneys’ fees may also be given to the debtor as an award for a successful FDCPA claim.
Contact an Attorney Today
If a debtor believes an FDCPA violation has occurred by Eastern Account System, he or she needs to contact an attorney for a consultation before pursuing a claim. A consumer attorney can advise the client on what steps need to be taken to prove a successful FDCPA claim.
However, keep in mind that if a debtor brings a case and it is not successful, he or she could end up being responsible for the legal fees for Eastern Account System. Also keep in mind that Eastern Account System will likely come to court with legal representation.
It can be a huge benefit for the debtor to even the playing field by coming to court with representation, as well.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article is for information purposes only. It should not be used construed as legal advice. If you choose to file a claim against Eastern Account System or any other third-party collection agency, your claim may not be successful, and you may not be entitled to any compensation for your alleged injuries.