Is Bay Area Credit Service calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Anyone can experience a financial setback, but some are worse than others, especially for those who carry a significant amount of debt. The average indebted American household carries over $15,000 worth of credit card debt, and other obligations like mortgages, auto loans, and medical bills bring the grand total to over $129,000.
If you’re unable to keep up regular payments due to job loss or illness, the result can be devastating, and they get even worse when collection agencies start hounding you for payment.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires debt collectors be professional when collecting or attempting to collect a debt, but that’s not always the case. Although illegal, tactics like the following are regrettably common:
- Using the telephone to repeatedly harass someone (e.g calling every hour and hanging up when the person answers)
- Cursing, name calling, and making threats
- Telling the person’s friends and family that they owe money in order to embarrass them into paying
- Pretending to be law enforcement officers who will arrest the debtor if they don’t pay immediately
- Refusing to prove that a debt is valid and they are authorized to collect it
Some consumers act on the rights that the FDCPA gives them and fight the collector in court, but most either retreat or pay to make the abuse stop.
Bay Area Credit Service in a collection agency with corporate headquarters in Norcross, Georgia. It was established in 1988, has branch offices in California, and is a bigger agency with a staff total of 100 to 249. According to the records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Bay Area Credit Service has been sued on several occasions for alleged violations of the FDCPA.
According to PACER**, in 2014 Bay Area Credit Service began calling a Georgia resident on her cell phone, seeking to collect a debt she allegedly owed to AT&T. These calls, which were for non-emergency purposes, were allegedly placed using an automatic telephone dialing system or other equipment capable of storing and/or producing telephone numbers.
On several occasions, the Georgia resident spoke to Bay Area Credit Service representatives and instructed them to stop calling her cell phone. On May 18, 2014, she also mailed the company a certified letter requesting that they cease placing calls to her cellular phone. Despite her request, Bay Area Credit Service allegedly continued to use an auto dialer to place at least thirty collection calls to her cell phone, up to three times per day, between May 7 and June 16, 2014.
The Georgia resident hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint that accused Bay Area Credit Service of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting the resident after she sent a written cease and desist letter (15 USC § 1692c(c))
- Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, and/or abuse the resident (15 USC § 1692d)
- Causing her telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass her (15 USC § 1692d(5))
The matter was later dismissed.
The following phone numbers are all associated with a Bay Area Credit Service office:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, a Bay Area Credit Service debt collector is attempting to contact you about a debt. Should they persist in calling your cell phone for non-emergency purpose and ignore a cease communications request, contact a consumer attorney who can deal with the agency on your behalf and even help you sue them if the harassment does not stop.
The FDCPA imposes expensive penalties ($1000 per violation) on debt collector who disregard its guidelines, and your attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:14-cv-03097-SCJ, from United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta 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 Bay Area Credit Service or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.