When debt collectors are pursuing you, a ringing phone can cause your stress levels to go through the roof. If you do answer and the debt collectors are rude and demanding, you might be tempted to declare personal bankruptcy to make the harassment stop. Before you go that far, be aware that bullying indebted consumers is against the law and you don’t have to tolerate it.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Legally, third-party debt collectors must be both professional and ethic when trying to collect a consumer debt. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, they are not allowed to do any of the following to pressure you into paying:
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Raising their voice and making threats they have no intention of following up on
- Calling your friends, neighbors, and co-workers and telling them that you owe a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
- Reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus
- Charging excessive fees that inflate the amount of the original debt
Company Profile: CACV of Colorado
CACV of Colorado is a debt collection agency located in Denver, Colorado. It operates as a subsidiary of SquareTwo Financial Corporation and purchases delinquent consumer accounts from other debt collectors or creditors. A review of litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that CACV of Colorado has been accused of violating the FDCPA during certain debt collection attempts.
Alleged Violations against CACV of Colorado
On August 21, 2009, CACV of Colorado, through its attorneys, Apotheker & Associates, filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania resident to collect a Providian Bank credit card debt. The only documentation submitted to support the claim was a "Statement of Account," which listed the debtor's name, account number, original creditor and balance due.
Under Pennsylvania law, a party seeking to collect on alleged debt is required to include an itemization of the amounts claimed and, where the claim is based upon a document, a copy of the contents or pertinent portions. If the required copies are not available, the plaintiff must state the fact, provide the reasons why and set forth the substance of the information. The Complaint and the "Statement of Account" attached failed to comply with Pennsylvania law in this respect, and CACV of Colorado and its counsel allegedly did not provide any reason why the required information was not available, as Pennsylvania Court rules require.
She hired a consumer attorney and sued CACV of Colorado and Apotheker & Associates for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading means to collect the debt;
- Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress or abuse her
- Threatening to take any action that could not legally be taken
- Using false representation or deceptive means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect an alleged debt
- Attempting to collect an amount not authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone number for CACV of Colorado is 1-303-296-3345. If you see it on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is on the line. If they file lawsuits that appear to be frivolous in an attempt to collect a debt from you, hire a consumer attorney. If you decide to sue CACV of Colorado, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied because you owe money: the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:2011cv00448 from United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against CACV of Colorado or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.