Is Collection Masters calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Many adult Americans owe money to credit cards, medical service providers, or student loans. For some people, however, the debt they carry becomes more than they can manage. They lose their jobs, or experience a costly personal setback such as divorce. If they fail to keep up the minimum payments, it won’t be long before debt collectors begin to call.
Debt collectors have a bad reputation for harassing consumers who owe a debt. Although the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires third-party debt collectors to be professional when collecting or attempting to collect a debt, actions like the following are not unusual:
- Calling people early in the morning or late at night
- Swearing and name-calling
- Threatening to have the person arrested if they don’t pay
- Contacting the person’s friends, family, and coworkers about the debt
- Pretending to be police officers or federal law enforcement officials
- Ignoring a written cease communications request
Collection Masters is a collection agency located in Chicago, Illinois. Established in 2006, it employs a small staff of 10 to 19 and collects all types of consumer debt. Civil litigation records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Collection Masters, LLC has been accused of violating consumer rights during debt collection attempts.
According to PACER**, in April of 2008, an Illinois consumer received a debt collection letter from Collection Masters, LLC, regarding an old credit card debt. He contacted the agency, and was allegedly informed that they intended to sue him for the money.
The consumer inquired as to whether Collection Masters, LLC could initiate a lawsuit since the debt was incurred over 10 years previously. The collector allegedly responded that it could still sue him and it intended to, as there was no statute of limitations on this credit card.
Collection Masters, LLC continued to contact the consumer in an effort to collect the debt and on October 1, 2008, he received another collection letter stating he owed $3391.00. This correspondence threatened to turn the account over to an attorney to file suit against him.
The consumer hired a consumer attorney and sued Collection Masters, LLC for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Stating that nonpayment of the debt would result in a lawsuit (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(4))
- Threatening to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Using deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Collection Masters, LLC is 1-312-948-8327. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to contact you about a debt. Should they attempt to collect a debt that is beyond the statute of limitations and threaten you with legal action they cannot possibly take, see a consumer attorney and consider taking action against the agency.
Such tactics violate the FDCPA, and you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. As a consumer you have rights, even if you do owe money, and debt collectors can incur serious penalties for disregarding them.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case: 1:08-cv-06275, from United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern 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 Collection Masters, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.