Is American Collection Systems, Inc. calling you?* Here’s what you need to know.
Although most of us acquire debt with the intention of repaying it, financial troubles can strike at any time. Once a certain number of payments have been missed, your creditors will either everything over to third-party debt collectors or charge off the accounts and sell them to junk debt buyers, who will call and send you letters in pursuit of payment. No matter how persistent the collectors become, remember that you have rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires third-party debt collectors to behave professionally when collecting consumer debts. Bullying tactics like those below are illegal, and can result in revocation of the agency’s license.
- Cursing and calling you names
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking
- Discussing your debt with uninvolved third parties
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Calling you at inconvenient times and places
- Using constant phone calls to annoy or harass you
Company Profile: American Collection Systems, Inc.
American Collection Systems, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Westerville, Ohio. It was established in 1976, has 50 to 99 employees, and is managed by Donald Hindes. The Better Business Bureau has noted on its website, “BBB has processed complaints against ACS from consumers living in the following states: CA,CO,CT,DC,MI,NY,OH and OK.” Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that American Collection Systems, Inc. has been accused of violating the FDCPA while trying to collect certain debts.
Alleged Violations against American Collection Systems, Inc.
Princess Reed and Tumeaker Armstrong vs. American Collection Systems, Inc. et al
During October 2011, American Collection Systems, Inc. placed a call to Princess Reed’s cell phone and asked to speak to Tumeaker Armstrong, from whom it was attempting to collect a $3,000 debt. During the initial conversation and every conversation thereafter, Ms. Reed explained that Ms. Armstrong was her mother and could not be reached at that number. Ms. Reed also requested that American Collection Systems, Inc. cease all communications with her.
However, the company allegedly continued to contact her at an excessive and harassing rate, sometimes calling up to four times per day. The collectors allegedly used hostile and aggressive language when speaking to Ms. Reed, including accusing her of lying about her identity and mocking her by stating that “Princess” was not a real name. When Ms. Reed requested the caller’s name, they allegedly shouted at her, stating,“[It’s] none of your business! Have Mrs. Armstrong call me back!”.
On or about June 6, 2012, Ms. Armstrong contacted American Collection Systems, Inc. and spoke to an employee identifying himself as “Rodney Banks.” Mr. Banks allegedly demanded that she pay the debt in full. When Ms. Armstrong informed him that she was ill and on disability and, therefore, was unable to pay, Banks and another employee allegedly began laughing and terminated the conversation.
Ms. Armstrong also complained that American Collection Systems, Inc. failed to inform her that each communication was an attempt to collect a debt and everything she said would be used for that purpose. She and Ms. Reed finally hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Contacting third parties for reasons other than location information
- Causing their phones to ring repeatedly with the intention of harassing them
- Using oppressive and harassing means to collect a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
- Using a deceptive, unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Calling without disclosing the identity of the debt collection agency.
- Failing to send Ms. Armstrong an initial letter within five days of its initial contact with her as required by law
A judge later awarded Ms. Armstrong and Ms. Reed $2,500.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for American Collection Systems, Inc. are:
If either number appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, a debt collector is calling for you. If they use rude language and discuss your debt with uninvolved third parties, hire a consumer attorney who can help you sue the company. You could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Your attorney will help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:12-cv-02908-TCB from United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Eastern Division)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Is American Collection Systems, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.