Is Collection Consultants calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
No one intentionally gets themselves deep in debt, but all it can take is job loss or extended illness to put someone in an impossible financial situation. When you reach the point that you can’t make the minimum payments any longer, sooner or later your creditors will turn the accounts over to a third-party collection agency and you will begin receiving calls.
Legally, debt collectors are required to treat you with courtesy and respect, but that’s not always the case. Over forty years ago, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by Congress because abusive debt collectors were linked to a rise in personal bankruptcies. It made actions like the following illegal when committed while collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using profane and abusive language
- Calling you at work when you’ve already told them you can’t take such calls there
- Telling you that you will be arrested or lose your children if you don’t pay at once
- Talking to anyone except you, your spouse, and your attorney about the debt
Unfortunately, such tactics remain in use because harried consumers, unaware of their rights, pay up to make the harassment stop.
Collection Consultants of California is a debt collection agency located in Glendale, California. It was established in 1986, employs a staff of 20 to 49, and collects consumer debt all over the state. Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Collection Consultants of California has appeared in court to answer charges of allegedly violating the FDCPA.
According to PACER**, in 2014, Collection Consultants of California began calling a consumer to collect an alleged debt. During a phone conversation in April 2015, the consumer specifically requested that agency representatives only call him in the evenings, as he worked during the day.
Despite this unequivocal request, Collection Consultants of California allegedly continued calling him during the day, at a time known to be inconvenient to him, Feeling annoyed and harassed by these calls, the consumer hired a consumer attorney and sued Collection Consultants of California for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Communicating with the consumer at a time or place known to be inconvenient to him (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(1))
- Engaging in conduct, the natural consequence of which was to harass the consumer, in connection with the collection of a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Causing his phone to ring and engaging him in telephone conversations repeatedly or continuously, with the intent to annoy, abuse and harass him (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(5))
The matter was later settled.
The phone numbers for Collection Consultants of California are 1-800-552-5513 and 1-818-551-5600. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt. If they keep calling you at inconvenient times and places and disregard your instructions to do otherwise, see a consumer attorney.
Legally, the agency is not permitted to carry out such activities while attempting to collect a debt, and you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. When debt collectors disregard your rights, they could end up owing you money instead.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:15-cv-01912-BEN-BGS, from United States District Court, Southern District of California)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Collection Consultants of California or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.