Owing more money than you can expect to pay back is a stressful situation that gets worse if debt collectors start yelling at you over the phone and demanding that you agree to payment plans you know you can’t afford. You tell them to stop, and they don’t. Is there any way to prevent such harassment short of declaring personal bankruptcy?
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from harassment by third-party debt collectors. Since then, it has been illegal to use methods like the following to settle a debt.
- Using profane or obscene language
- Using an autodialer to leave a series of pre-recorded messages
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening legal actions that they have no intention of taking
- Refusing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
Company Profile: Asset Recovery Associates
If you are being called by Asset Recovery Associates, information about the company is below.
Asset Recovery Associates, is a collection agency located in Lombard, Illinois. It was established in 2003, is managed by its President, Bruce Cohen, and currently has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Asset Recovery Associates chose to confront the agency in court.
Alleged Violations against Asset Recovery Associates
Nikki Lennertz f/k/a Nikki Teitelbaum vs. Asset Recovery Associates, et al*
According to PACER, in or around 2012, Asset Recovery Associates began calling California resident Nikki Lennertz about an old Wells-Fargo debt that she believed had been satisfied back in 1997. Ms. Lennertz later alleged that during the first call, the collector pretended to be an old friend of hers before suddenly declaring that a judgment against her was going out that day unless the debt was paid.
Feeling harassed by Asset Recovery Associates, she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Misrepresenting the character, status, or legal status of the debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see any of these numbers on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by Asset Recovery Associates. If they bully you about a debt you know you have paid and try to deceive you into making another payment, hire a consumer attorney. Such deceptive tactics are illegal under the FDCPA, and if you proceed to file a claim against Asset Recovery Associates, you could potentially win $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never assume that owing money means you have to tolerate mistreatment: the law confirms otherwise.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case Case 2:12-cv-09470-JC from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western 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 Asset Recovery Associates, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.