Is Allied Data Corporation calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
In 1978 the US Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, citing “abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive and unfair debt-collection practices by many debt collectors.”
The FDCPA set firm guidelines on what debt collectors could say and do in the process of collecting a debt. Some states even enacted their own consumer protection legislation using the FDCPA as a blueprint. The FDCPA was enacted to protect consumers from harassment when they fall behind on credit payments.
Under the FDCPA, the following acts are prohibited:
- Discussing a consumer’s debt with anyone except the consumer, their spouse, or their attorney
- Calling a debtor’s place of employment if such calls are prohibited
- Contacting a debtor after being advised that the debtor is represented by counsel
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
- Harassing behavior such as threats, obscene or abusive language, and nonstop calls
- Presenting themselves as law enforcement and claiming the debtor has committed a crime
Allied Data Corporation (ACSI) is headquartered in Houston, Texas. Established in 1993, the company currently has 50 to 99 employees. Court records viewable on the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website turn up several instances of ACSI being sued for alleged FDCPA violations.
Joseph Lee v. Allied Data Corporation et al.
According to PACER**, in late December 2007, Joseph Lee, a Pennsylvania resident, began getting calls from an Allied Data Corporation (ADC) representative regarding a delinquent debt he had incurred with Value City. The agent, who identified herself as Ms Mitchell, demanded payment and agreed to Mr. Lee’s offer of $150 a month to settle the debt.
Soon afterward, Mr. Lee received a letter saying that his check for $157 would be deposited on a certain date. This was not the amount he had allegedly authorized, and the money was also not withdrawn on the agreed-upon due date. The collection calls resumed, with agents saying that they had never received the payment as promised. Mr. Lee called back and learned that his banking information had been improperly logged. Despite ADC assurances that the matter would be rectified and the payment withdrawn the next day, this did not happen.
Another ADC representative named Ms Bradley phoned Mr. Lee and advised him that the matter was “beyond collections” and now a “legal matter”. She allegedly said that the debt would be referred to the IRS for investigation and added that the “IRS could intercept Lee’s tax return” and “levy against and liquidate Lee’s personal property.”
During another conversation Ms. Bradley allegedly told Mr. Lee to “have a nice life paying your bills.” Mr. Lee was later advised that she had put in a withdrawal request for $1379.50 from his checking account, and when he protested, another employee said, “Sorry, it already went through.” When he checked with his bank, he was advised that no withdrawal attempts had been made.
The complaint that Mr. Lee filed with the US District Court accused Allied Data Corporation of the following FDCPA violations:
- Expressing intention to remove funds from the consumer account in an amount not authorized by the consumer
- Threatening legal actions that the collector could not take and had no intention of taking
- Using rude and abusive language
The suit was later dismissed.
Allied Data Corporation’s phone number is 1-281-558-7176. If this number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you over a debt you may or may not owe. If, during their dealings with you, they use rude, hostile, or deceptive behavior, the FDCPA enables you to sue them. A consumer attorney will help you protect your rights and, if the matter goes to court, help you seek statutory damages of up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 5:08-cv-01707-TMG, from United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Allied Data Corporation or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.