Is Commonwealth Financial Systems calling you? Here's what you need to know.
A recent analysis of Federal Reserve statistics and related government data indicates that the average household owes over $7,000 on their credit cards. In July 2014, the Urban Institute published a report, Delinquent Debt in America, that revealed some eye-opening statistics:
- Approximately 77 million Americans have a debt in collections
- These consumers owe an average of $5,178
Although collecting a debt is legal, using hostile, threatening, or deceptive means is not. In 1977 the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in response to the overwhelming number of consumer complaints about abusive debt collection practices. This consumer protection law prohibits third-party debt collectors from doing any of the following while collecting a debt:
- Swearing at or threatening consumers with property damage or bodily harm
- Telling someone that they can be arrested or imprisoned for nonpayment
- Calling a consumer before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Calling a consumer at work when they know that the employer does not allow such calls
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Disclosing details about a debt with anyone except the debtor, their spouse, attorney, or co-signers
- Indulging in harassing behavior such as constantly calling and hanging up
Although illegal, many debt collectors persist in using these and similar tactics to obtain payments from stressed and worried debtors.
Commonwealth Financial Systems is a collection agency located in Dickson City, PA. According to its website, the company’s client base includes debt purchasers as well as financial, commercial, medical, and government clients. It was founded in 2001 and advertises its services as nationwide in scope.
The phone numbers for Commonwealth Financial Systems are 1-800-848-2170 and 1-716-635-0259. If the number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to settle a debt with you. When you speak to the agent, confirm that the alleged debt is not outside the statute of limitations in your state. If it is, and the Commonwealth representative insists on collecting, contact a consumer attorney.
They can request that all future communications regarding the debt go through them, and represent you if you opt to sue the debt collector. If the matter is decided in your favor, you could win statutory damages of $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees. Even if you do owe a debt, you are entitled to fair treatment, and the FDCPA penalizes debt collectors who do otherwise.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:14-cv-03097-SCJ, from United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta 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 Commonwealth Financial Systems or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.