Are you Being Called By Checkmate?* Here's What You Need to Know
Debt collectors can be hard to deal with when you’re already coping with financial difficulties. Sometimes they are willing to work with you on an affordable payment plan, but other times they are not, and demand instant repayment in full. They will swear at you, call nonstop, and threaten to take garnish your wages if you don’t pay. When this happens, it is important to know your rights and act on them.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In September 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.The FDCPA regulates what debt collectors may do to legally collect a debt. It strictly prohibits harassing and deceptive tactics like those below.
- Swearing, yelling, and making threats they cannot legally carry out
- Contacting someone at work when their employer does not allow such calls
- Ignore a cease communications notice, which the FDCPA allows you to send
- Discussing the debt with people other than you, your attorney, or possibly your spouse
- Contacting you after you retain an attorney
- Refusing to provide you with information about the debt
Company Profile: Checkmate
If you are being called by Checkmate information about the company is below.
Checkmate, which also does business as Collection Services, Inc., is a debt collection company located in Pensacola, Florida. It was established in 1955, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Jeff Powell. It currently has a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Checkmate did not hesitate to get the courts involved.
Alleged Violations against Checkmate
According to PACER, in mid-2011 Checkmate started contacting a Florida resident on her cell phone, trying to collect an alleged debt. She later complained that the company used an autodialer to contact her and leave voicemail messages that did not identify the caller or their reason for contacting her.
Feeling harassed by Checkmate, she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Using an autodialer to contact her
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for this debt collection agency is 1-850-434-0883. If the phone rings at any time and you see that number on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Checkmate. If they leave voice messages that do not properly identify them as debt collectors, hire a consumer attorney immediately. If you file a claim against Checkmate and win, you could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation. Standing up to a malicious collection agency could put them in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 5:11-cv-00387-RS-EMT from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Panama City Division.
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 Checkmate or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.