Is Carter Business Service calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Anyone can experience financial difficulties, but for some, the burden is worse than it is for others. Credit card debt for the average indebted American household is in the vicinity of $15,000, and items like medical bills, student loans, and mortgages bring the overall debt burden to just over $129,000. If you lose your job and these accounts go into arrears, it won’t be long before debt collectors start chasing you for payment.
Legally, they aren’t allowed to chase you to the point of harassment. In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to bring aggressive debt collectors to heel. It is now illegal for a collection agency to do any of the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Telling you that you will arrested and sent to jail for nonpayment
- Calling your workplace and mentioning the debt to your co-workers, the payroll department, etc
- Using abusive and / or obscene language
- Keep contacting you even after you dispute a debt
Unfortunately, too many debt collectors freely use these tactics because scared consumers, unaware of their rights, give in and pay to make the collector back off.
Carter Business Service, Inc is a collection agency located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It was established in 1961, has a staff of 20 to 49 employees, and states on its website that it has a 21.1% collection average, which exceeds the 15% national average listed by The American Collectors Association. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Carter Business Service has been accused of violating the FDCPA during its collection attempts.
Terrence Doherty vs. Carter Business Service, Inc.; and DOES 1-10, inclusive
According to PACER** in December 2012, Carter Business Service, Inc called a Massachusetts resident on his cell phone in an attempt to collect a debt he had incurred to Lahey Clinic Hospital. During this conversation, the Massachusetts resident informed the representative that he was unable to pay the debt due to dire financial circumstances.
Despite this stated refusal to pay, Carter Business Service, Inc allegedly called him again shortly thereafter. During that conversation, the Massachusetts resident informed the collector that he had filed for bankruptcy and provided them with his attorney’s name and telephone number.
Nonetheless, Carter Business Service, Inc allegedly contacted him on at least three occasions in an attempt to collect the debt. One of the calls was allegedly placed after Mr. Doherty had informed the agency that the debt had been discharged.
Mr. Doherty hired a consumer attorney and accused Carter Business Service, Inc of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Contacting him after being told that he was represented by an attorney. (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2))
- Engaging in behavior that harassed Mr. Doherty (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Failing to send him an initial letter within five days of its first contact with him as required by law (§ 1692g(a))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Carter Business Service, Inc is 1-781-246-4300. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you. Should they keep contacting you even after the debt was discharged in a bankruptcy and you’ve given them your attorney’s number, contact a consumer attorney.
Some collection agencies are so obsessed with getting your money that they don’t let anything hinder them, even the law. If you take Carter Business Service, Inc to court and win, you could receive statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. The law is something that debt collectors ignore at their own risk.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:13-cv-11703-DJC, from United States District Court, District of Massachusetts)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Carter Business Service, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.