Is Caine & Weiner Company calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Being in debt counts as one of life’s most stressful experiences. You live paycheck to paycheck, and none of the payments you make on your credit card bills or student loans appear to bring the balance down by much. If the time comes that you can no longer make the minimum payments, creditors could turn the accounts over to collection agencies, which adds to the stress of being in debt.
Legally, debt collectors are supposed to treat you fairly, and back off if you dispute a debt or tell them to stop contacting you. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which was passed in 1977 as a consumer protection measure, makes it illegal for them to harass or abuse you, but unfortunately practices like those below remain common:
- Calling consumers at all hours
- Using profane and abusive language
- Telling a person’s friends and family that they owe money
- Pretending to be members of law enforcement who will arrest them if they don’t pay
- Persisting in trying to collect debts that are in dispute
- Refusing to prove that a debt is valid and they are authorized to collect it
These illegal tricks and tactics are still used to bully and stress unwary consumers, who often cave in and make payments they can’t afford just to make the harassment stop.
Caine & Weiner Company is a national debt collection agency that has been in business since 1930. Offices in California, Kentucky, New York, and Oregon employ hundreds of staff in total and collect consumer debt all over the country. The agency has been sued on a number of occasions by consumers who felt that their rights were being violated, as evidenced by the number of court cases on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website.
According to PACER** in or around May of 2012, Caine & Weiner Company left a voicemail message for a Louisiana resident. They were attempting to contact her about an alleged Sears card debt, but their message allegedly failed to include the name of the company or the fact that a debt collector was calling about a debt. Instead, the message, which was later transcribed, informed her that her “immediate attention is needed” and that the caller “must speak with you immediately.”
The plaintiff, feeling that the message did not provide her with enough information to independently ascertain the purpose for the call and the company that was calling her, hired a consumer attorney and accused Caine & Weiner Company of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress or abuse Ms. Landry in connection with the collection of the debt (§1692d)
- Placing telephone calls without providing meaningful disclosure of the caller’s identity (§1692d(6))
- Using deceptive means to attempt to collect a debt by leaving voicemail messages that provided Ms. Landry with no information about the nature of its calls and expressed a sense of urgency to speak with her (§1692e(10))
- Failing to disclose in communications that the call was from a debt collector ( §1692e(11))
A judge later ruled in favor of the plaintiff.
The following phone numbers are all associated with a Caine & Weiner office:
If your caller ID reflects an incoming call from any of these numbers, a debt collector from the agency is attempting to collect a debt from you. Should they fail to meaningfully disclose their identity and the purpose for their call during each communication, make an appointment to see a consumer attorney who can advise you on how you can take Caine & Weiner to court for infringing on your rights.
You could be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. No debt collector is above the law, and if one of them goes too far in its attempts to get money from you, they could end up in debt to you instead.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case: 2:12-cv-02060-KDE-JCW, from United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Caine & Weiner or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.