Is Client Services, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
When you fall behind in your bill payments and the accounts are turned over to a third-party debt collector, your problems can suddenly get worse, especially if the collector is rude, aggressive, and persistent. Eventually you may do anything to make it stop, such as make payment arrangements you can’t afford. At such a stressful time, it’s easy to forget that you have rights and protections under the law.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was enacted in 1977 to curb the rampant abuses attributed to third-party debt collectors. This consumer protection law made it illegal for debt collectors to use unfair, abusive, and unethical means to collect debt payments, Prohibited actions include:
- Calling you at inconvenient times, generally defined as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Contacting you after you have sent a cease and desist letter or advised that you are represented by an attorney with regards to the debt
- Using profane and obscene language
- Threatening legal action that they are not in a position to take or have no intention of taking
- Threatening to have you arrested for nonpayment of the debt
- Discussing the debt with your coworkers, neighbors, and other uninvolved parties
Some agencies disregard FDCPA mandates. Client Services, Inc is a collection agency located in St. Charles, Missouri. It was established in 1987, has a staff of 955, and collects consumer debt all over the country. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Client Services, Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA during its attempts to collect a debt.
According to PACER**, in or around 2012, a Texas resident began receiving calls from Client Services, Inc about an alleged debt. During one conversation, an agency collector allegedly told him that he was talking like a baby. This person made fun of his voice and continually told him that he sounded like a baby.
The Texas resident's brother-in-law also answered the phone on several occasions and informed Client Services, Inc agents that the Texas resident had experienced a stroke. This stroke probably affected his voice, but agency collectors allegedly persisted in making fun of the way he spoke.
Agency collectors allegedly kept asking the Texas resident why he could not pay his debt even after being told that he could not pay. They also allegedly persisted in harassing him to pay his debt even though they knew about his poor health and recent stroke.
On July 20, 2012, a Client Services, Inc representative allegedly told him that if he did not pay the debt, they would take legal action against him. No legal action or lawsuit was ever filed against him.
He later hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Client Services, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in conduct that abused him in connection with the collection of an alleged debt (§1692d)
- Using obscene or profane language (§1692d(2))
- Causing a telephone to ring with the intent to annoy, abuse or harass Mr. Condon (§1692d(5))
- Using deceptive means in connection with the collection the alleged debt (§1692e(10))
- Using unfair or unconscionable means in connection with the collection of an alleged debt (§1692f)
- Being inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s rights to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor (§1692g)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for Client Services, Inc are 1-800-521-3236 and 1-636-947-2321. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector from the agency is trying to contact you. If they use rude and disrespectful language, call you nonstop, or threaten legal actions that never transpire, contact a consumer attorney.
Such actions violate your rights under the FDCPA, and if you take Client Services, Inc to court, you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Never hesitate to take advantage of the rights that the law gives you.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:13-cv-02539-G, from United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Client Services, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.