If your credit card bills, student loans, and medical debt have gone into several months’ worth of arrears because you were laid off or became too ill or disabled to work, your creditors may hire debt collectors to recoup the outstanding balances.
Be warned: not all collectors will treat you with courtesy or respect. If you find yourself being harassed, however, start looking for an attorney; mistreating consumers is a violation of federal law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from harassment by third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA prohibits actions like the following, which can cause an agency to be fined and even lose its license.
- Swearing and calling names
- Calling you at work if they know that such calls are not allowed
- Refusing or failing to validate the debt
- Telling your friends, neighbors, and co-workers that you owe money
- Calling at all hours of the day and night
- Threatening legal action that they are not in a position to take or have no intention of taking
Company Profile: Collection Resources
If you are being called by Collection Resources, information about the company is below.
Collection Resources is a debt collection company located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was established in 1981, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Phaen Waldren. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Collection Resources asserted their rights in court.
Alleged Violations Against Collection Resources
According to PACER, in October 2008 Collection Resources began contacting a Minnesota consumer to collect a $349 debt. On the 23rd, a collector allegedly left him a voicemail that did not disclose his identity as a debt collector.
When the consumer turned the call on October 28, he spoke to a female employee who allegedly began threatening him by making statements like “Ultimately this will go onto your credit report” and “If you don't pay, this we send it to our attorney.” When the consumer asked which law firm they would use, she allegedly replied, “We have six to eight law firms in Minnesota.”
On December 22, 2008, the agent allegedly called and hung up when the consumer picked up. When the latter called back, the agent allegedly insulted and ridiculed him by stating that most adults do not handle their bills as he did. The agentthen allegedly hung up on him in mid-conversation.
The consumer called back and spoke with a different agent. When he said he disputed the debt and would not be paying it, she allegedly hung up the phone.
Feeling harassed by Collection Resources, the consumer hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see either of these numbers on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Collection Resources. If they verbally abuse you and make aggressive and unreasonable threats (such as threatening to retain your bank account), hire a consumer attorney.
If you file a claim against Collection Resources and win, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. You have rights that debt collectors cannot ignore, no matter how much you owe.
*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 Collection Resources, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is CASE 0:09-cv-02988-ADM-SRN from the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.