Is AV Knowles and Associates calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
If you’ve fallen behind in your financial obligations, sooner or later a debt collector will be calling. Most of them are third-party collection agencies, ‘junk debt’ dealers that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them, and attorneys who regularly collect debts owed to others.
A consumer protection law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits third-party debt collectors from being abusive, deceptive, and unethical when attempting to collect money from you. Under this law, they may not do any of the following to convince you to settle a debt:
- Fail to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking to collect a debt
- Call you at work if your boss won’t let you take such calls
- Call you at all hours of the day and night
- Use abusive and/or obscene language
- Keep contacting you even after you dispute a debt
- Discuss the debt with uninvolved third parties like neighbors and co-workers
- Claim to be law enforcement officials who will arrest you for nonpayment
Certain debt collectors regard the FDCPA as a nuisance and circumvent it as best they can, hoping you will feel too embarrassed to report them.
A.V. Knowles & Co is a debt collection agency headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago. Owned and operated by collection specialist attorneys, the company has a worldwide network of 70 partner offices via Australia-based Global Credit Solutions, giving it the international coverage to pursue debt collection worldwide. A review of court cases archived at the Public Access to Court Electronic Records website (pacer.gov) show that Global Credit Solutions has allegedly violated the FDCPA while attempting to collect from consumers.
Cortney Langenegger v. Caine & Weiner Company, Inc., d/b/a Global Credit Solutions
According to PACER** when New Mexico resident Cortney Langenegger allegedly defaulted on a financial obligation, it was placed with Global Credit Solutions to collect. To locate her, Global called Ms. Langenegger’s workplace, Kirtland Air Force Base. During the conversation with her co-worker, the Global representative allegedly stated that he needed to obtain Ms. Langenegger’s direct telephone number because he intended to do business on the base.
On December 1, 2011, Global called Ms. Langenegger directly. During the telephone conversation, the agent allegedly demanded that she pay $200 per month on the debt. When she insisted that she could not afford it, the Global representative allegedly stated that they would contact her husband’s commanding officer if she did not make immediate payment on the account, and that her husband would be in a lot of trouble as a result.
Global also allegedly failed to provide Ms. Langenegger with the notice required by section 1692g of the FDCPA.
Upset, she hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Global Credit Solutions of the following FDCPA breaches:
- Stating a false reason for wanting to locate her (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692b)
- Contacting her at an inconvenient time and place (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692c)
- 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)
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692f)
- Failing to send a written validation notice within five days of the first communication (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692g)
The matter was later dismissed.
A.V. Knowles & Co. and Global Credit Solutions have the following phone numbers associated with them:
If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector from A.V. Knowles & Co. or Global Credit Solutions is attempting to collect a debt from you. If they use deceptive means to locate you and make threats if you are unable to pay, contact a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA prohibits such conduct by debt collectors, and your attorney can help you sue for both statutory and actual damages as well as court costs and attorney fees, reminding these debt collectors that the consumer protection laws cannot be violated without incurring penalties.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:11-cv-00941-RB-RHS from United States District Court for the District of New Mexico)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against A.V. Knowles & Co. or Global Credit Solutions or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.