Is AWA Collections calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a consumer protection law that makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to say or do certain things when pursuing debt payments. It was passed in 1977, after an increase in personal bankruptcies was attributed to abusive debt collectors. In addition to granting consumers the right to dispute a debt and tell a collector to stop contacting them, the FDCPA prohibits actions like the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt from you.
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work when they know that your workplace won’t let you take such calls
- Trying to collect an amount not authorized by law or by the original creditor agreement
- Using profane or obscene language
- Threatening you with wage garnishments, credit damage, and other actions they can’t legally take or have no intention of taking
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt upon request
Certain debt collectors ignore the law, convinced that their bullying tactics are the only way to make you pay up. They demand payment in full, and in ways that cause people to lose sleep and become stressed out.
Adler Wallach & Associates Inc, otherwise known as AWA Collections, is a collection agency headquartered in Orange, California. They also have a branch office in Dickson, Tennessee. Established in 1993, AWA Collections collects consumer debt all over the country. According to the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, the agency has been sued in the past by frustrated consumers who believed that their rights had been infringed upon during the debt collection process.
Mercedes Lopez v. Adler, Wallach & Associates, Inc., d/b/a AWA Collections
According to PACER** in or about July, 2010, agents from AWA Collections contacted Florida resident Mercedes Lopez to collect a delinquent debt she allegedly owed. One of them left a voicemail on her answering machine, and allegedly failed to identify himself as a debt collector. There was also no warning that any information received would be used for the purposes of collecting a debt.
Concerned that she was being tricked into returning the call, Ms. Lopez retained a consumer attorney and sued AWA Collections for violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Making calls that did not meaningfully disclose the caller’s identity (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692d(6)).
- Failing to disclose in the initial oral communication that the debt collector was attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11).
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for AWA Collections are 1-866-260-3631 and 1-714-771-5453. If either number appears on your caller ID, be aware that a representative of the agency is trying to contact you to collect a debt. If their written or verbal communications do not properly disclose the caller’s identity and the reason for their call, they have violated the FDCPA.
Contact a consumer attorney, who will deal with AWA Collections on your behalf and help you take the agency to court. If a judge decides in your favor or the company opts to settle, you could receive statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as court costs and attorney fees. Collecting delinquent consumer debts is legal, but using deception to do so is not, and you are entitled to compensation when a debt collector crosses the line.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 9:10-cv-80985-KLR, from United States District Court, Southern District of Florida)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against AWA Collections or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.