Is Alacrity Collections calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Being in debt impacts more than just your credit score. It also creates stress that affects your life. Even when you are keeping your head above water and making the monthly payments, there’s still a sense of owing more money than you can quickly pay back. It gets even worse when you lose your job or are otherwise unable to work: miss more than a few payments, and debt collectors get involved.
These third-party collection agencies aren’t interested in your personal situation. They only want your money, and they’re not always professional in their approach, despite the law ordering otherwise.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, regulates what third party debt collectors may say and do while collecting or attempting to collect a debt. Prohibited activities include:
- Swearing, yelling, and calling you names
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt from you
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening to ruin your credit or have you arrested
- Talking about the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Publishing details about the debt on social media and other public outlets
- Contacting you directly even after you’ve hired an attorney to represent you in the matter
The FDCPA has been in effect since 1977, but many collection agencies deliberately ignore it and use whatever methods convince you to pay up.
Alacrity Collections Corporation is a small collection agency located in Annapolis, Maryland. It was established in 1983, employs a staff of approximately 10 to 19, and deals primarily with medical debt. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) records retained online at pacer.gov indicate that Alacrity Collections has been accused of violating the FDCPA while attempting to collect consumer debts.
Timothy E. Hillier v. Alacrity Collections Corporation
According to PACER**, in September and October 2005 New York resident Timothy Hillier began receiving calls from Alacrity Collections Corporation regarding a debt he allegedly owed to Laurel Regional Hospital. He later claimed that the agency’s collectors discussed the debt with his mother and stepfather and attempted to make payment arrangements.
At the beginning of October Mr. Hillier also received a collection letter. To him, it looked like an itemized bill and allegedly did not reveal that it had been sent by a debt collector. He retained a consumer attorney and sued from Alacrity Collections Corporation for the following alleged FDCPA violations.
- Failing to advise Mr. Hillier in their October 3, 2005 letter to him that they were debt collectors. (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11))
- Communicating with his mother and stepfather in connection with the collection of his debt to Laurel Regional Hospital without his prior consent. (15 U.S.C. 1692c(b))
The suit was later settled.
The phone numbers associated with Alacrity Collections Corporation are 1-800-752-9663 and 1-410-721-2744. If either number appears on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is trying to contact you. If they fail to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications with you and discuss your alleged debt with uninvolved third parties, contact a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA requires debt collectors to be up front and professional while attempting to collect a debt, and if they are not, they can be compelled by a judge to pay you $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs and attorney fees. Even if you owe a debt, you have rights that debt collectors disregard only at their own risk.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:05-cv-00770-JTE, from United States District Court, Western District of New York)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Alacrity Collections or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.