Is Allied Trustee Services calling you? Here's what you need to know.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was enacted in 1978 after the US Congress was forced to acknowledge that many debt collectors used “abusive, deceptive and unfair” methods to collect payments from consumers. The FDCPA prohibited acts like those listed below, applying a unique set of consumer protections that individual states used as a model for their own legislation.
- Calling at inconvenient hours, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m., or calling someone’s workplace after being informed that the employer prohibits it
- Using autodialers or robodialers to repeatedly call and annoy consumers
- Abusive language
- Threatening to harm someone personally or damage their reputation or credit
- Revealing debt details to anyone but the debtor, their spouse, or attorney
- Contacting someone after being advised that the person is represented by counsel with regards to the debt
- Presenting themselves as law enforcement or attorneys when they are not
Despite the law, many debt collectors continue to behave in ways that can be interpreted as hostile, deceptive, and simply negligent. Fortunately, the FDCPA enables consumers to sue an errant collection agency and obtain both statutory and actual damages.
Established in 1993, Allied Trustee Services collects consumer debts in California and Nevada. The company offices are located in Roseville, California, and its Manta.com profile provides an employee count of 10 to 19. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that Allied Trustee Services has been sued on a number of occasions for alleged breaches of the FDCPA.
Tom Myatt and Susan Parrella v. Allied Trustee Services.
According to PACER**, in February 2013 San Diego residents Tom Myatt and Susan Parrella received a dunning letter from Allied Trustee Services after they allegedly incurred a now-delinquent financial obligation to a homeowner’s association. Mr. Myatt and Ms. Parrella later claimed that they did not receive a second notification advising them them that unless they disputed the debt within 30 days, Allied could assume its validity. The FDCPA requires that such a notice be mailed within five days of a debt collector’s initial communication with a consumer.
Mr. Myatt and Ms. Parrella retained an attorney, who sent a letter to Allied Trustee Services regarding the alleged debt. Despite the fact that the couple was now represented by counsel, debt collectors continued to contact them about the debt.
The complaint filed with the US District Court, Southern District of California, accused Allied Trustee Services of the following FDCPA violations:
- Failure to send a second notice within 5 days, which is a breach of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g
- Contacting a consumer after receiving notification that an attorney was representing them about the debt, which violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2)
The suit was later settled.
The phone number for Allied Trustee Services is 1-800-220-5454. If this number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you. When you speak to them, request validation of the debt in writing. If they refuse or fail to do so, or indulge in unethical behavior (abusive language, threats to have you arrested, advise your friends and coworkers that you owe money), you can file a complaint with one or more of the following:
- Better Business Bureau
- Your state’s attorney-general
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
You can also hire a consumer attorney will help you sue the debt collector in state or federal court. If you win your case, you are eligible to be awarded statutory damages of up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
No matter how much money you may owe, you always have rights. Never be afraid to use them.
*The content of this article is not applicable solely to Allied Trustee Services, but to any third-party collection agency by which you claim to have been harassed.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:13-cv-01706-L-RBB from United States District Court, Southern District of California)
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 Trustee Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.