If you are facing debt collections proceedings, you may find yourself dealing with debt collectors who are both harassing and unprofessional. If one of those companies is McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf, it is important you, as the debtor, understand your rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) Protects debtors against unfair debt collection practices. The FDCPA is part of a larger act, which is the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
The FDCPA details specific rules that third-party debt collectors, like McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf, must abide by when collecting on a consumer debt. If the debt collector violates one of these rules, the debtor can seek compensation for damages sustained against the collector.
About McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf
McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf is a collection company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Founded by two collection professionals, they state that the company was created to foster a “simple, stress-free experience” for their clients.
The headquarters is located at 26000 Cannon Road, Cleveland, Ohio. They are an affiliate company of MB&W Consumer Collections, Inc., also known as a Much Better Way.
Determining If a Claim Exists
The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from behaving in a certain manner when collecting on a consumer debt. This behavior includes:
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has called you at “odd hours,” which normally means before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has used threatening or violent language when communicating with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has threatened to file a law suit when they have no intention of pursuing one;
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has called the debtor’s place of business when he or she has specifically stated that no personal calls are to be made there;
- If McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf 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 you believe McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If this behavior has occurred to the debtor by McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf, 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 he or she has a valid FDCPA claim against McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf, the next step is to assess what types of damages he or she could request. In all FDCPA claims, the debtor can receive statutory damages in the amount of $1,000.
On top of the statutory damages, the debtor can also seek actual damages. Actual damages can include compensation for physical distress, including medical bills or treatment needed because of the physical distress caused as a direct result of the harassment.
In addition, actual damages can include emotional distress damages caused from the FDCPA violations. If the harassment caused the debtor to lose time at work, the actual damages can include lost wages.
The key is the debtor must be successful in showing the connection between the behavior exhibited by the McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf 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, an attorney should be consulted before filing an FDCPA claim against McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf. The attorney can at minimum 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 the collection agency’s attorneys’ fees. Also, it should almost always be assumed that McCarthy, Burgess and Wolf, who is a large company, will 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 McCarthy, Burgess & Wolf 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.