Is Advanced Call Center Technologies calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Financial hardship is one of the worst situations to be in. It doesn’t matter who you owe the money to: credit cards, mortgage lenders, or student loans. When you can’t keep up the payments and debt collectors start calling, the situation becomes even worse, especially if the debt collectors are abrasive and rude.
You may ask yourself: are they really allowed to call me at work like this? Is it legal for them to call several times a day and swear when I do pick up?
Technically, no. It isn’t.
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. Under this federal law, third-party debt collectors are not legally permitted to do any of the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Swearing, raising their voice, and using obscene or racist language
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Discuss the debt with your family, friends, and co-workers
- Threaten to have you arrested if you don’t pay
- Calling you at work if they know that your employer does not permit such calls
Unfortunately, many debt collectors continue to use illegal collection tactics because they work. People become so stressed and embarrassed that they pay up just to make the harassment stop.
Advanced Call Center Technologies was founded in 1997 and has offices all over the US: Arizona (Douglas and San Luis), California (Carmichael and Sacramento), Kansas (Junction City), Texas (Harlington), and Tennessee (Johnson City). There is also an offshore office in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Approximately 5,000 employees are spread out over these various locations.
According to ABC News**, in 2010 Texas resident Allen Jones was awarded more than $1.5 million in a lawsuit over obscene and racist voicemail messages allegedly left by Advanced Call Center Technologies debt collectors. They were trying to collect an $81 credit card debt that Mr. Jones insisted had already been paid.
In his complaint, he accused company representatives of using the n-word and the f-word and making racial slurs about Mr. Jones, who is black. One recorded voicemail message revealed that a collector told him to "go pick some m*****f****** cotton fields.” The collectors allegedly called him as early as 6:30 a.m. and late as 11:00 p.m.
After a two-week trial, a jury decided that Advanced Call Center Technologies had violated the FDCPA and Texas debt collection laws and awarded Mr. Jones $50,000 for mental distress, $143,000 in attorney fees, and additional damages totalling $1.5 million.
The following phone numbers are all associated with Advanced Call Center Technologies:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to collect money from you. If you’ve already paid the amount they claim you owe and they respond by using profane language and / or continuing their collection efforts, contact a consumer attorney.
When Advanced Call Center Technologies violates the FDCPA during its dealings with you, you can take them to court and potentially win $1,000 per violation plus any actual damages. When debt collectors go too far, the law will help you remind them that consumers have rights that must be respected, no matter how much money they may owe.
**Case taken from ABC News :http://abcnews.go.com/Business/man-wins-15m-vulgar-debt-collection-call…
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Advanced Call Center Technologies or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.