When a debtor is in the midst of collections proceedings, he or she may be fielding calls from multiple debt collectors at a time. These calls can be anything but pleasant, and the debtor may find himself or herself dealing with collectors who are both harassing and unprofessional.
If one of those companies is IQ Data International, it is important the debtor understands his or her rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
First, the debtor must understand what the law allows and what it prohibits. Debt collection proceedings are governed by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), which provides protection for debtors against unfair debt collection practices from third-party debt collectors, like IQ Data International.
The FDCPA is part of a larger act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The FDCPA gives specific rules that third-party debt collectors must abide by when collecting on a consumer debt. If IQ Data International violates one of these rules, the debtor can seek compensation for damages sustained against the collector.
About IQ Data International
IQ Data International is a third-party debt collector headquartered in Everett, Washington. IQ Data International, also known previously as Rent Collect Global, specializes in debt collection for businesses in the property management industry.
The company is relatively small, with over 50 employees, hired to collect property management debts, including past-due rent payments.
Determining If a Claim Exists
The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from behaving in a certain manner when collecting on a consumer debt. Not all behavior qualifies as an FDCPA violation. Prohibited behavior includes:
- If IQ Data International has called the debtor at what are considered to be “odd hours,” which normally means early in the morning before 8 a.m. or later at night after 9 p.m.;
- If an employee of IQ Data International has used hostile or obscene language when communicating with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If IQ Data International has threatened to file a law suit against the debtor when the company have no intention of pursuing one;
- If IQ Data International has threatened to pursue garnishment proceedings to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If IQ Data International has contacted the debtor at his or her place of business when he or she has specifically stated that no personal calls are to be made there;
- If IQ Data International has spoken with individuals other than the debtor in an effort to seek information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If IQ Data International has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If this behavior has occurred to the debtor by IQ Data International, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim to be filed in state court. Prior to filing a claim, however, the debtor needs to send a written notification to the debt collector, informing them that they have violated the FDCPA and that a claim will be filed. If the debt collector continues to contact the debtor at this point, an FDCPA violation can be filed.
What Damages Are Available?
If the debtor believes a valid FDCPA claim exists, the next step is to assess what types of damages are going to be requested. In all FDCPA claims, the debtor can receive statutory damages in the amount of no more than $1,000. The debtor can also seek actual damages from Profit Services Group.
Actual damages include monetary damages for physical distress, including medical bills or treatment needed as a direct result of the harassing behavior. In addition, actual damages include emotional distress damages caused from the FDCPA violations.
If the harassment caused the debtor to lose pay or time at work, he or she can seek compensation for lost wages. For damages to be successful, the debtor must show the connection between the behavior exhibited by the Profit Services Group and the injury sustained.
In addition, attorney’s fees needed to pursue an FDCPA claim can be reimbursed with the final award given, on top of filing fees and court costs.
Speaking with an Attorney
If the debtor has been subject to an FDCPA violation, he or she should consult an attorney before filing an FDCPA claim against IQ Data International. The attorney can advise the client on what needs to happen to prove a successful case.
If a case is brought and is not successful, the debtor risks the chance of having to pay for IQ Data International’s attorneys’ fees. Also, it should almost always be assumed the debt collection company will likely come to court with legal representation.
It benefits the debtor to have a legal professional on his or her side, as well, to even the playing field.
*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 IQ Data International 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.