Is AmSher Collection Services calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Watching your debts spiral out of control is one of the most stressful things you can experience. There are a lot of reasons why people become delinquent in their financial obligations: job loss, illness, a personal (and costly) crisis like divorce. Although these mishaps can occur without you being to blame, the result is still the same: sooner or later, debt collectors start calling and sending letters.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires collection agencies and individual debt collectors to be honest and professional in their dealings with you. As the court dockets and consumer complaint boards prove, not every collector obeys the law. Practices like those listed below are alarmingly common:
- Calling you at all hours when the FDCPA mandates that they cannot contact you outside of the 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. time frame
- Telling you that you will arrested and sent to jail if you can’t / won’t pay
- Calling your workplace and mentioning the debt to your co-workers
- Using abusive and/or obscene language
- Keep contacting you even after you dispute a debt or demand its validation
It was because of activities like the above that the FDCPA was originally enacted in 1977. However, debt collectors persist in illegal collection tactics because people become frightened or embarrassed enough to pay them.
AmSher Collection Services Inc. is a large collection agency headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Established in 1986, AmSher employs a staff of approximately 100 to 249. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records website (pacer.gov) includes a large number of FDCPA-related actions listing the company as a defendant.
Caroline Swartz v. AmSher Collection Services Inc
Sometime in October 2012, Amsher Collection Services Inc. started calling Michigan resident Caroline Swartz to collect a debt she allegedly owed to Prosper Marketplace, Inc. She set up payment arrangements with AmSher and agreed to pay about $49.00 a month on the $371 debt.
Ms. Swartz made these payments for November 2012, December 2012 and January 2013. Sometime during the beginning of March 2013, AmSher called her because she had not made a February payment.
Ms. Swartz said she could pay $50.00, but the collector allegedly replied, “You cannot do that. You have to pay at least half of the debt or we will send a letter to your employer to make sure you are employed. We will call your employer to confirm that you are employed.” The collector then told Ms. Swartz that she was staying in the office until 9:00 p.m. that night to collect specifically on the debt.
Alarmed at the thought of her wages being garnished, Ms. Swartz tried to call back later that day to tell the agency that she could afford to pay them $75.00, but nobody answered the phone.
She retained a consumer attorney and filed a complaint that accused AmSher Collection Services Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692d)
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e)
- Threatening a wage garnishment that never occurred (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(4))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for AmSher Collection Services Inc. are 1-800-955-7632 and 1-205- 943-6040. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to collect a debt from you. Even though you may owe a debt you have rights under the FDCPA, so if the collector threatens to garnish your wages and engages in other types of illegal and unethical conduct, see a consumer attorney.
Your attorney will deal with AmSher Collection Services Inc. on your behalf and even help you sue them for harassing you. If you win, you could receive both statutory and actual damages as well as court costs and attorney fees, so never believe that debt collectors can abuse you without consequence.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:13-cv-11166-TLL-CEB from United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern 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 AmSher Collection Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.