The U.S. collection industry is huge, with companies collecting literally billions of dollars worth of debt each year. When you have a debt in collections, the company assigned to your account will call you, send letters, and press for payment.
They don’t always do so in an ethical manner either but know that you have rights that protect you against such treatment.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a consumer protection law passed by Congress in 1977 to curb abusive debt collectors.
It prohibits collection agencies from using pressure tactics like the following on consumers:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out
- Discuss the debt with anyone but you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Telling you that you can be arrested for not paying your debts
- Contacting your friends, family, and co-workers and discussing the debt with them
- Using profane and obscene language
Company Profile: Alliance Collection Agencies
If you are being called by Alliance Collection Agencies, background details about the company are below.
Alliance Collection Agencies is a debt collection agency located in Marshfield, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1999 after the merging of Bonded Collections of Marshfield, Rapids Adjustment Company, and Wausau Creditors Service.
The company, which specializes in healthcare collections, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Dan O'Connell. Legal documents archived at the PACER website indicate that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Alliance Collection Agencies demanded compensation.
Alleged Violations against Alliance Collection Agencies*
According to PACER, on or about August 22, 2012, Alliance Collection Agencies sent a collection letter to a Wisconsin consumer seeking payment for a medical debt. It noted, in part, “If we do not receive a written notice of dispute from you within 30 days, we will assume the debt is valid.”
This statement appeared to suggest that the dispute had to be in writing, while the FDCPA did not require it.
Feeling harassed by Alliance Collection Agencies, the consumer consulted with an attorney and sued the collection agency for allegedly violating her rights by:
- Misleading her on her dispute rights.
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for Alliance Collection Agencies are:
If they appear on your caller ID when a call comes in, be warned that Alliance Collection Agencies is on the line.
If they mislead you on your dispute rights, don’t passively accept deception: make an appointment with a consumer lawyer and consider filing a claim against Alliance Collection Agencies.
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors who break the law can be ordered to pay you $1,000 in statutory damages plus legal fees, so when a collection agency turns up on the heat on you, see a lawyer about enforcing your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:12-cv-00944-NJ from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Division.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Alliance Collection Agencies or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.