If a debtor is facing collection proceedings, odds are he or she has been dealing with a multitude of calls from various debt collectors. Many times, these calls can be pretty unpleasant, and they can often even get to the point where they are threatening or harassing.
If one of those companies is Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas, it is important that the debtor understands his or her rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The law offers protection for debtors through the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects debtors against unfair debt collection practices. The FDCPA was written within a larger law, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which was created in 1977.
The FDCPA gives specific rules that third-party debt collectors, like Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas, must follow when collecting on a consumer debt. If an employee of Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas violates one of these rules, the debtor can seek compensation for damages sustained against the collector through an FDCPA lawsuit.
About Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas
Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas is a third-party collection agency headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was created in 2003 and has remained active but relatively small with only 10 employees.
No matter how small the company may be, it has been accused of using less-than-ethical methods in pursuing the collection of debts for its clients.
Determining If a Claim Exists
The FDCPA prevents debt collectors like Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas from doing unreasonable measures when trying to collect a consumer debt. This behavior includes:
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has contacted the debtor before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.;
- If an employee of Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas made verbal threats to the debtor or any other person associated with the debtor;
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has made threats to sue the debtor when they have no intention of pursuing a legal claim;
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they had intention of pursuing a garnishment or the legal right to do so;
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has called or shown up at the debtor’s place of employment after being told not to;
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has communicated with third parties connected to the debtor to get information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If the debtor has had any of the above behavior happen to him or her, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim.
What Damages Are Available?
If the debtor believes he or she has a valid FDCPA claim against Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas, the next step is to assess what types of damages can be requested.
The most basic award available is statutory damages, which are available in all successful FDCPA cases in the amount of no more than $1,000. The debtor can also seek actual damages which can include compensation for physical injuries and emotional distress.
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 debtor must be successful in showing the connection between the behavior exhibited by Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas and the injury sustained. Another available award is compensation for attorneys’ fees for having to file the case.
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 Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas. That 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 Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas’s attorneys’ fees. Also, it should almost always be assumed that Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas 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 Rosenthal, Morgan & Thomas 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.