Most of us owe money to one creditor or another. When we lose our jobs for an extended period of time or become disabled, cash flow is adversely affected and debt that was once manageable becomes a serious burden. Once you miss a certain number of payments, your creditors will probably send the accounts out for collection, so educate yourself on your rights where debt collectors are concerned.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect indebted consumers from being bullied and harassed by third-party debt collectors. This consumer protection law, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, prohibits actions like the following during the collection of a debt:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using abusive or obscene language
- Threatening legal action they have no intention of taking
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your employer won’t let you take such calls
- Misrepresenting how much you actually owe
- Claiming to be an attorney or a law enforcement official
Company Profile: Accredited Collection Agency Inc
Accredited Collection Agency Inc is a debt collection agency located in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It was established in 1997, has 10 to 19 employees and is managed by Jessica Colby. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that Accredited Collection Agency Inc has been accused of harassing indebted consumers during certain debt collection attempts.
Alleged Violations against Accredited Collection Agency Inc
Karen Dryden vs. Accredited Collection Agency Inc et al*
In or around November 2012, Accredited Collection Agency Inc began contacting Virginia resident Karen Dryden in an attempt to collect a debt she allegedly owed. Collectors allegedly called her at work and persisted in doing so, even after Ms. Dryden’s employer stated that such calls were prohibited under the company's policies. She later complained that they occasionally spoke with her coworkers and screamed at her in their efforts to extract payment on a balance that included $50.00 in ‘service fees’.
Even after Ms. Dryden hired an attorney to represent her and Accredited Collection Agency Inc was informed of the fact, they allegedly continued to contact her directly. She finally sued them for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways.
- Contacting her directly even after learning that she had obtained an attorney
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications
- Engaging in abusive and harassing conduct
- Contacting her at work after being informed that such calls were prohibited
- Attempting to collect amounts not permitted by law
A judgement on default was later awarded in favor of the plaintiff.
Hire a Creditor Harassment Attorney
The phone numbers for Accredited Collection Agency Inc are:
- 1-201- 670-8851
If you see either number on your caller ID when your phone rings, it means that a debt collector is trying to reach you about a delinquent account. If they use bullying language, call you at work after being told to stop, and try to inflate the amount of the alleged debt with service fees, hire a consumer attorney.
Such tactics are against the law, and a judge could order Accredited Collection Agency Inc to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. When debt collectors push you too far, fight back. It could pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:14-cv-00255-JRS from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is not applicable solely to Accredited Collection Agency Inc but to any third-party collection agency by which you claim to have been harassed.