Some debt collectors want you to believe that they hold all the power. They ignore statutory dispute periods and demand payment in full immediately, otherwise they will garnish your wages, send the sheriff over to evict you, and other dire events.
Don’t be intimidated, as these are mostly empty threats. Instead, read up on your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, regulates what third party debt collectors may say and do while trying to collect a consumer debt. Bullying and intimidation are strictly prohibited. Other illegal collection tactics include:
- Calling you at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you several times per day using an auto dialer
- Using obscene and / or abusive language
- Claiming that you have committed a crime and threatening to call the police on you if you don’t pay
- Pretending to be members of law enforcement
- Telling uninvolved third parties like your friends and co-workers that you owe money
Company Profile: American Credit Bureau, Inc.
If you are being called by American Credit Bureau, Inc., information about the company is below.
American Credit Bureau, Inc. is a debt collection office located in Boca Raton, Florida. It was established in 1992, has approximately 10-19 employees, and is managed by its owner, Martin Ferrel. The company presently has a rating of B- with the Better Business Bureau.
Digitized legal records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that several consumers who believed they were being harassed by American Credit Bureau, Inc. rebuffed all payment demands and pursued compensation in court.
Alleged Violations against American Credit Bureau, Inc.
Shanoy Decosta vs. American Credit Bureau, Inc. et al*
According to PACER, on October 2014, American Credit Bureau, Inc. started contacting New Jersey resident Shanoy Decosta to collect a debt. In the initial communication, the caller allegedly failed to inform her that the call was an attempt to collect the debt and all information obtained would be used for that purpose.
She later insisted that the person on the line specifically stated that they were not a debt collector and, instead, were calling to inform her of her rights regarding an insurance check that was sent to her.
When Ms. Decosta realized that a debt was involved and refused to pay it, American Credit Bureau, Inc. allegedly threatened to sue her and serve her with legal process at her job. Calls to her workplace were also allegedly made even though she repeatedly insisted that such communications were not permitted.
Feeling harassed by American Credit Bureau, Inc., Ms. Decosta hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Calling her at her place of employment after being asked to stop
- Failing to send her a debt validation letter
- Threatening legal action it did not intend to take
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection company are as follows:
If either number flashes on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by American Credit Bureau, Inc.. If they call you at work to intimidate you and threaten a lawsuit that never comes to pass, don’t tolerate it: instead, hire a FDCPA attorney.
If you decide to file a claim against American Credit Bureau, Inc. and end up winning your case, you could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus attorney’s fees and court costs. Never assume that what you’re being told by a debt collector is the truth: get your advice from an attorney instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:14-cv-07679-KM-SCM from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
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 American Credit Bureau, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.