If a debtor is in the middle of a heated debt collection proceeding, he or she may be fielding communication from multiple third-party consumer debt collection agencies. These people are not only persistent but can also be unprofessional to the point of being harassing.
If one of these companies happens to be Global Collection Agency, it is important you understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
It is important that the debtor first understand his or her rights under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the FDCPA, debtors are protected against unfair consumer debt collection practices of third-party collectors like Global Collection Agency.
The FDCPA is part of a larger law, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which was enacted in 1977. The FDCPA provides strict rules and guidelines that debt collectors are required to follow when collecting on a debt.
If a violation occurs, the debtor can seek compensation for damages sustained against Global Collection Agency.
About Global Collection Agency
Global Collection Agency was previous known as Affinity Global, Inc. It is a Canadian debt collection company, headquartered in Markham Ontario with representatives in the United States.
The company has recently acquired the company, Leading Edge Recovery Solutions, LLC. According to a Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, the company has been accused in the past of activities in violation of the FDCPA.
Determining If a Claim Exists
Before going forward, the debtor must determine if a claim exists under the FDCPA. The FDCPA prevents third-party debt collectors from committing certain actions that are considered unprofessional and unethical. Examples of FDCPA violations include the following:
- If Global Collection Agency has contacted the debtor at what are considered to be “odd hours,” which normally means before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If an employee of Global Collection Agency has used threatening or violent language when speaking with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If Global Collection Agency or one of the company’s employees has made threats to file a law suit when they have no intention of pursuing one;
- If Global Collection Agency has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If Global Collection Agency has called the debtor’s place of employment when he or she has specifically stated that no personal calls are to be made there;
- If Global Collection Agency has communicated with third parties connected to the debtor in an effort to seek information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If Global Collection Agency has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If the debtor has experienced any or all of above behavior, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim to be filed in state court against Global Collection Agency.
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, he or she can also seek actual damages. These damages include compensation for physical distress, including medical bills for related injuries the debtor has sustained because of the harassment.
In addition, actual damages can include emotional distress caused from the violations. If the debtor has also had to lose time at work because of this harassment, he or she can seek lost wages.
The important thing to know is, for actual damages to be awarded, the debtor must be successful in proving the violations occurred, proving that he or she was injured as a result and in showing a connection to the injury and the behavior exhibited by the debt collector.
In addition, attorney’s fees needed to pursue an FDCPA claim can be ordered, as well as reimbursement for legal costs and fees.
Contact an Attorney Today
As soon as a debtor believes an FDCPA violation has occurred by Global Collection Agency, he or she needs to contact an attorney for a consultation before pursuing a claim. An FDCPA attorney can advise the client on what steps need to be taken to prove a successful FDCPA case.
If the case is unsuccessful, the debtor risks the chance of having to pay for the legal fees for the debt collector in having to defend the claim. The debtor should assume that a company the size of Global Collection Agency will likely come to court with legal representation.
It benefits the debtor a great deal to have a professional on his or her side, as well, to even the playing field and better the chances of winning in court.
*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 Global Collection Agency 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.