Is Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Financial problems can set in at any time, especially during a difficult economy when many people live from paycheck to paycheck.
If you lose your job due to illness, restructuring, or company layoffs, your ability to keep up your monthly bill payments is seriously affected, and eventually debt collectors will be assigned to collect the arrears.
If these collectors are verbally abusive, devious, and persistent to the point of being harassing, you may agree to payments you can’t afford just to make it stop.
People are often surprised to know that such behavior is illegal. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in September 1977 because abusive debt collectors were being connected to an increase in personal bankruptcies. This consumer protection law prohibits acts like the following:
- Cursing, yelling, and calling you names
- Reporting incorrect information to the credit bureaus
- Demanding amounts that are not supported by law or the original agreement that created the debt
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Telling you that you can be arrested for failure to pay the debt
- Pretending to be anything except a debt collector trying to collect a debt
- Calling you at work after you’ve already told them that you can’t take such calls there
- Talking to uninvolved third parties, such as your co-workers, friends, and neighbors, about the debt
Many collection agencies persist in using tactics like these because they work: consumers are so stressed and humiliated that they pay whatever the collector demands.
Anderson Crenshaw & Associates is a collection agency located in Dallas, Texas. It was established in 2002 and employs a staff of 51 to 200. Consumer complaints boards are full of allegations of improper debt collection practices, and case files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that Anderson Crenshaw & Associates has been sued frequently for allegedly violating the rights of the consumers it attempted to collect money from.
Denise Batey v. Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates
According to PACER**, in 2007, Alabama resident Denise Batey received a series of communications from Anderson Crenshaw & Associates about an alleged debt that was over eight years old. Upset by the constant phone calls, Ms. Batey disputed the debt and sent a letter asking that they not contact her at work and that they verify and validate the debt.
Ms. Batey later claimed that she did not receive any any documentation, verification or correspondence from Anderson Crenshaw & Associates verifying or confirming the debt. She also allegedly continued to receive calls at her office despite her requests that they stop calling her at work. When debt collectors spoke to her coworkers, left recorded messages on her voicemail, and reported the out-of-statute debt to Experian Information Services, Ms. Batey hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Anderson Crenshaw & Associates of the following FDCPA violations.
- Threatening to sue him when they knew, or should have known, that they had no legal authority to do so (15 U.S.C. 1692e)
- Failing to provide her with written verification of the debt (15 U.S.C. 1692g)
- Failing to cease collection of the debt after she sent them a written request to stop (§1692g(b))
- Discussing the debt with a third party (15 U.S.C. 1692c (b))
- Causing her phone to ring continuously with the intent to harass her (15 U.S.C. 1692d (5))
The suit was later dismissed.
The phone number for Anderson Crenshaw & Associates , LLC is 1-661-702-0080. If it appears on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt you may or may not owe. If you dispute a debt and they fail to report it to the credit agencies, contact a consumer attorney.
Failure to mark a debt as disputed is illegal, and if the matter proceeds to court, you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages (e.g. pain and suffering), court fees, and attorney costs. The law grants you certain rights when it comes to debts you owe and how they may be collected, so never hesitate to assert them.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 4:07-cv-01210-RBP, from United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Middle 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 Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.