Your phone is ringing for the fifth time in just as many hours, and a glance at the caller ID confirms that the collection agency pursuing your credit card arrears is calling again. You’ve told them that you can’t afford to pay and to stop calling, but they seem to take your refusal as encouragement. To learn more about your rights as an indebted consumer, read on.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed by Congress in 1977 to stop the rise in bankruptcies that were attributable to debt collector harassment. For over 40 years now it has been illegal for third-party collection agencies to use tactics like those listed below to collect a debt:
- Using profane and obscene language
- Ignoring a formal request to cease communications
- Threatening consequences they cannot legally inflict, or have no intention of carrying out
- Threatening to report the debt to the credit bureaus until it is paid
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m., in your time zone
- Calling you at work if they know or have reason to know that such calls are not allowed
Company Profile: Berlin-Wheeler, Inc.
If you are being called by Berlin-Wheeler, Inc., more information about the agency and its history is below.
Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. is a debt collection agency in Topeka, Kansas. It opened for business in 1951, has 70 employees, and is managed by Mark Wheeler. Digitized litigation files archived at the PACER website indicate that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. did not respond to any attempts at coercion.
Alleged Violations against Berlin-Wheeler, Inc.*
According to information on the PACER website, on or around November 27, 2018, Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. allegedly placed multiple collection calls to an Arizona consumer demanding payment for an alleged debt. She insisted that the company left at least two voicemail messages on answering machine and did not disclose the nature of the call or state that the call was from a debt collector.
Feeling harassed by Berlin-Wheeler, Inc., the consumer filed an FDCPA lawsuit against the company for allegedly violating her rights by:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone number for this debt collection agency is:
Their presence on your caller ID indicates that Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. is on the line. If they call you multiple times a day and leave voice messages that fail to identify them as debt collectors, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. You could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation. It’s an expensive penalty that the agency could have avoided by treating you ethically in the first place.
*Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:19-cv-03272-SRB from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
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 Berlin-Wheeler, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.