Most of us will fall behind on our debt payments at least once, and creditors are usually understanding about one-time omissions. But if we miss too many, our accounts go into arrears and we get calls from debt collectors. Most of them are pushy, but if that zeal translates into abuse, be aware that you have rights limiting what collection agencies can say and do to get you to settle the account.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 after abusive debt collectors drove too many people to declare personal bankruptcy. The FDCPA regulates what third-party collectors can say and do while attempting to collect a debt, and prohibits actions like those below.
- Using profane and abusive language
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work after being informed that your boss does not permit such calls
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking, such as having you arrested
- Discussing the debt with any third parties except the you, your attorney, spouse, or co-signer
Company Profile: Credit Collection Services
Credit Collection Services is a debt collection agency located in Norwood, Massachusetts. It was established in 1966, has 750 employees and is managed by its President, Stephen Sands. Credit Collection Services has been the subject of 475 complaints to the Better Business Bureau in the last three years. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that the agency has been sued for alleged FDCPA violations during its years in business.
Alleged Violations against Credit Collection Services
Crissy Del Percio vs. Credit Collection Services
According to PACER**, on or about January 27, 2015, Credit Collection Services sent a collection letter to a Missouri resident. She retained an attorney with regards to the alleged debt, but received a second letter on or about March 3, 2015. The creditor was named as Encompass Indemnity, a home insurance company, but she insisted that she did not purchase any home for which home insurance would be necessary from Encompass Indemnity. She sued Credit Collection Services for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Continuing to contact her after receiving notice that she was represented by an attorney
- Trying to collect a debt that was not authorized by any agreement
The matter was later settled.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone numbers for Credit Collection Services are:
If your phone rings and you see either of these number on your caller ID, a debt collector is on the line. If they keep trying to collect a debt that you never authorized, hire a consumer attorney. Such debts are legally uncollectible under the FDCPA, and if you initiate a court action you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Standing up for yourself can literally pay off.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 4:15-cv-00346-GAF from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Credit Collection Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.