If someone is facing a debt collection proceeding, he or she may be dealing with third-party consumer debt collectors who are persistent to the point of being both harassing and unprofessional. If one of those debt collectors is SRS and Associates, it is important the debtor, understands his or her rights.
What Is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), all debtors are protected against unfair consumer debt collection practices of third-party collectors like SRS and Associates.
The FDCPA is actually a smaller law written within a larger law, known as the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which was enacted in 1977. The FDCPA provides strict 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 a collector like SRS and Associates.
About SRS and Associates
SRS and Associates, Inc., is a debt collection agency headquartered in Vineland, New Jersey. The company is actually rather small and only has approximately ten employees. SRS and Associates has also done business under the name of Superior Recovery Services and Associates, Inc.
SRS and Associates specializes in payday loan collections.
Determining If a Claim Exists
First, the debtor must ascertain whether a claim exist. The FDCPA prevents SRS and Associates from committing certain actions that are considered unprofessional and unethical, including:
- If SRS and Associates has contacted the debtor at “odd hours,” which normally means before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If SRS and Associates has made threats or used threatening or violent language when communicating with the debtor or other people connected to the debtor;
- If SRS and Associates has threatened to file a law suit against the debtor when they have no intention of pursuing one;
- If SRS and Associates has threatened to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right or no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If SRS and Associates 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 SRS and Associates 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 SRS and Associates 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 by SRS and Associates.
Written notification must first be sent to the collector informing them of the violation and telling them to no longer contact the debtor. If communication persists, a debtor can then pursue an FDCPA violation claim.
What Damages Are Available?
Once the debtor determines that he or she has a valid FDCPA claim against SRS and Associates, he or she must then determine what types of damages are possible. In all FDCPA claims, the debtor is entitled to receive statutory damages in the amount of no more than $1,000, regardless of actual damages sustained.
The debtor can also seek actual damages, which can include compensation for physical distress or injury, including medical bills or treatment needed for related illnesses or injuries the debtor has endured 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 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 the debt collector. In addition, attorney’s fees needed to pursue an FDCPA claim can be reimbursed with the final award given.
Contact an Attorney Today
If a debtor believes an FDCPA violation has occurred by SRS and Associates, he or she needs to contact an attorney for a consultation before pursuing a claim. The attorney can advise the client on what steps need to be taken to prove a successful FDCPA claim.
Keep in mind that if a case is brought and it is not successful, that debtor risks the chance of having to pay for the legal fees for SRS and Associates in having to defend the claim.
Even though SRS and Associates is small, they will likely come to court with legal representation. It benefits the debtor a great deal to have a professional on his or her side 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 SRS and Associates 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.