Are you being called by Avante USA, Ltd.?* Here's what you need to know.
When we experience an unexpected financial setback like job loss or illness, monthly debt that was once routine can get out of control. Once a certain number of payments are missed, debt collectors will start calling, and many of them are ruthless when it comes to getting your money. It’s important to remember, however, that you have rights no matter how much you owe.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA to protect consumers from unethical debt collection practices. This consumer protection law made abusive harassing tactics like those below became illegal:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer prohibits such calls
- Ignoring a formal request to cease communications
- Threatening to seize your property or garnish your wages
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your attorney, and possibly your spouse
- Refusing to provide proof that you owe a debt and they are authorized to collect it
Company Profile: Avante USA, Ltd.
If you are being called by Avante USA, Ltd., information about the company is below.
Avante USA, Ltd. is a debt collection agency located in Houston, Texas. It was founded in 2003, has 125 employees, and is managed by its GM, Jeremy Moore. Litigation records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that many consumers who felt they were being harassed by Avante USA, Ltd. chose to deal with the situation in court.
Alleged Violations against Avante USA, Ltd.
Alicia Haynes vs. Avante USA, Ltd.*
According to PACER, in or around late 2010 or early 2011 Avante USA, Ltd. started contacting Alabama resident Alicia Haynes to collect an alleged debt to the University of Phoenix. On or around January 15, 2011 a collector named Marcus called her at work. Despite being told that her workplace did not allow such communications, the company allegedly called her there again on March 3, April 21, May 4, and May 19, 2011.
On or around March 12, 2011, Ms. Haynes called Avante USA, Ltd. and spoke with Marcus in an effort to set up a payment arrangement. During this conversation, Marcus allegedly threatened to garnish her wages and have her evicted from her home if she failed to pay. A month later, on or around April 28, 2011, Marcus allegedly called her again and left a voice message that stated, in part:
Ms. Haynes, this is Marcus with Avante USA. Ma’am, I don’t know – uh, uh - what the deal is here. Um, I approached you as a member - a fellow member of Christ and then you did this. And I don’t understand. So now you hold that paper and now you’ve disappeared and you won’t answer your phone. Okay, my number is 832- 476-1739 extension 603. It’s because of what I presume to be the relationship that I have not acted on this. If I don’t hear from you before lunch when I get back, uh this will move forward with ultimate speed and aggression. Now I really take it as - you are such a bad example of being an emissary of holding this manner that I am determined to bring it to light. I’m gonna call – if I can’t get through to you, and also your message is not working, I’m gonna have to leave messages on every phone that I can at the – at the church here to try to reach you. This is ridiculous. This will not go unnoticed that you’re doing this. Good luck.
On or around May 24, 2011, Marcus called Ms. Haynes’ parents and left a voice message that stated, in part:
Ms. Haynes, this is Marcus with Avante USA. You need to contact us right away. You basically, uh ma’am, you’ve committed what amounts to what may be a fraud. This has been going on since March and you haven’t called us back. So, we have to assume that it’s intentional and we’re sending it on to the proper authorities. My number is 832-476-1739. (Unintelligible) you dropped off the map. You no longer answer your phone. Even your family don’t answer. This is really heavy. Good luck.
Feeling harassed by Avante USA, Ltd., Mr. Roberts hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Calling her at work after being asked to stop
- Threatening legal action that they could not take
- Using harassing and oppressive means to collect a debt
- Failing to disclose that all communications were from a debt collector
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Avante USA, Ltd. are:
If you see either of these numbers on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Avante USA, Ltd., presumably about a debt they have purchased or been assigned to collect. If they call you constantly and threaten to garnish your wages or have you evicted if you don’t pay, hire a consumer attorney. If you file a claim against Avante USA, Ltd. with your attorney’s assistance and win, you could potentially receive $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never let an unethical debt collector mistreat you when the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:11-cv-03846 from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston 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 Avante USA, Ltd., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.