Are you being called by Americollect, Inc.? Here's what you need to know
Debt collectors are the the subject of regular complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, second only to identity theft. The FTC even has a list of collection agencies that have been closed down for abusing consumers. If you find yourself dealing with such an agency, it is important to read up on your rights so you know how to respond.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed 40 years ago to protect indebted consumers from being bullied into bankruptcy. It regulates interactions between third-party debt collectors and those who owe money, and prohibits actions like those below.
- Threatening action they are not in a position to legally take
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Trying to collect after you have formally disputed a debt
- Demanding amounts that are inflated by ‘service charges’
- Using profane and obscene language
- Leaving vague messages that do not identify the caller as a debt collector
Company Profile: Americollect, Inc.
If you are being called by Americollect, Inc., information about the company is below.
Americollect, Inc. is a debt collection office located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It was established in 1964, has approximately 50 employees, and is managed by its President, Kenlyn T. Gretz. A review of consumer complaint boards suggests that they have been the subject of frequent complaints, and records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that many consumers who believed they were being harassed by Americollect, Inc. stood up for themselves in court.
Alleged Violations against Americollect, Inc.
Lorie Jean Sprouse vs. Americollect, Inc.*
According to PACER, on June 1, 2016, Indiana resident Lorie Jean Sprouse called Americollect, Inc. after pulling her credit report and discovering a medical debt being reported by the company. She spoke to a male representative who identified himself as Jeremy and told her she owed on 11 different accounts totaling $1,440. When Ms. Sprouse replied that she was unemployed and could not pay, Jeremy allegedly responded that Americollect, Inc.’s legal team would audit her account and garnish her wages once she started working again.
Feeling harassed by Americollect, Inc., Ms. Sprouse hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Threatening legal action which could not be taken
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection company are as follows:
If you see either number on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Americollect, Inc.. If they threaten you with lawsuits, wage garnishments, and similar outcomes if you don’t pay, hire a consumer attorney immediately. Should you opt to file a claim against Americollect, Inc. and the outcome is in your favor, you could potentially receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation in addition to court costs and attorney fees. If a debt collector tries to intimidate you, they could end up in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:16-cv-00389-WCL-CAN from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division.
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 Americollect, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.