Is ARS National Services Inc. calling you?* Here's what you need to know.
If you've been assailed with calls and letters from debt collectors, they could be calling about a recently assigned obligation, an old one that is time-barred by statute, or even someone else’s debt. No matter what the situation, you need to know that you have the right to be treated ethically and with respect, and that there are laws in place to protect you from abusive debt collectors.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) mandates that debt collectors be respectful and ethical when attempting to collect a debt. Using tactics like the following to intimidate money out of cash-strapped consumers can lead to fines and even a revocation of the agency’s license.
- Swearing and calling names
- Calling people at work when the person’s workplace doesn’t let them take such calls
- Harassing someone by telephone (e.g. calling and hanging up)
- Telling a debtor’s friends and family about the debt
- Claiming that a debtor can be arrested, have their assets seized, or have their wages garnished if they do not pay
Company Profile: ARS National Services Inc.
ARS National Services Inc. is a debt collection agency headquartered in Escondido, California. It was established in 1987, has an estimated 100 to 249 employees, and is managed by its Chief Executive Officer, Jason Howerton. Over 41 complaints have been lodged with the Better Business Bureau against the company over the past three years. Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that ARS National Services Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA during certain debt collection attempts.
Alleged Violations against ARS National Services Inc.
Janice Neumann, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated vs. ARS National Services Inc
According to PACER**, on or around December 10, 2012, Wisconsin resident Janice Neumann received a collection letter from ARS National Services Inc. regarding a Mastercard debt allegedly owed to Citibank. The letter, which appeared to have been computer-generated, stated in part:
Our client, Citibank, N.A./SEARS GOLD MASTERCARD, has authorized ARS to accept $1300.38 as settlement in full of the above-referenced account. To take advantage of this offer, your payment must reach this office by 12-30-2012.
Ms. Neumann took exception to the mention that the settlement offer expired on December 30, 2012 when, in fact, the offer never actually expired. ARS had allegedly had blanket authority from Citibank to settle consumers’ accounts for 55% the amount owed, or less, at any time. She concluded that the sole purpose of the purported deadline was to create a false sense of urgency, so she hired a consumer attorney and launched a class action lawsuit against ARS National Services Inc. for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for ARS National Services Inc. are:
If any of these numbers show up on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is looking for you. If they make misleading statements that create a false sense of urgency, hire an attorney. If you decide to sue ARS National Services Inc., you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Don’t let a ruthless debt collector intimidate you: fighting for your rights could pay off.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:13-cv-00827-JPS from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 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 ARS National Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.