Is American Collections Enterprise calling you? Defend your rights!
If you’re afraid to answer your phone because debt collectors have been calling so much, you’re not alone.
A lot of Americans today have major credit card, student loan, and medical debts that have spiralled out of control, and debt collectors are calling to demand payment.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In September 1977 the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed to protect indebted consumers from unethical debt collectors.
In addition to giving you the right to dispute a debt and tell a collector to cease contact, the FDCPA prohibits third-party debt collectors from using methods like these to collect a debt:
- Calling you at an inconvenient time, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work when the collector knows that such calls are not permitted at your place of employment
- Yelling, swearing, and making threats
- Telling you that you can be arrested and sent to jail if you don’t pay
- Pretending to be attorneys or police officers
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your attorney, spouse, or any co-signers on the debt
Company Profile: American Collections Enterprise
American Collections Enterprise is a debt collection agency located in Alexandria, Virginia. It was founded in 1993, has approximately 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its President, Mike Sutherland.
Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that the agency has been sued for allegedly disregarding consumer rights during the debt collection process.
Alleged Violations by American Collections Enterprise
Roy Searles vs. American Collections Enterprise
According to PACER** on or about August 12, 2011 Virginia resident Roy Searles received a call at his workplace. When he asked who was calling and what it was in regards to, the caller replied that her name was Candy Gomez and she was calling from ACI.
When Mr. Searles did not confirm his identity right away, she allegedly stated in a panicked voice that she was calling about Hayley, which was the name of Mr. Searle’s daughter.
He was terrified that something had happened to his daughter, so he then identified himself and asked Ms. Gomez if his daughter was okay. She seemed amused and then told him that she was attempting to collect a debt for Children of America, Inc.
Mr. Searles said that he did not owe this debt. It was previously disputed with the credit bureau and later removed from his credit report.
Before hanging up, he told Candy Gomez not to call his work number anymore, but on or about September 1, 2011, the Plaintiff received a call from another agent of American Collections Enterprise at his place of employment.
Frustrated, he hired an attorney and sued the agency for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Calling him at work after being told that he did not want to be contacted there
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify the caller as a debt collector each time
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using harassing and oppressive means to collect a debt
- Failing to send a 30-day validation notice within five days of the initial contact
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for American Collections Enterprise are:
If either number appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that a collection agency may be trying to reach you.
If they use deception to confirm your identity and call you at work after being explicitly told that such calls are inconvenient, hire a consumer attorney.
If you decide to sue American Collections Enterprise, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
It’s a stern reminder that no matter how much a consumer owes, they have rights that debt collectors ignore at considerable risk.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:11-cv-05214-PGS-DEA from United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against American Collections Enterprise or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.