Is Creditors Interchange calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
It is incredibly stressful to owe more money than you can ever hope to pay back. Monthly payments barely make a dent in the grand total, and if you lose your job or become unable to work, the situation can easily spiral out of control. When your creditors turn the accounts over to third-party debt collectors or charge them off and sell them to junk debt buyers, a nightmare can result.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, regulates what third party debt collectors may say and do while trying to collect a debt from you. Prohibited activities include:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using profane or obscene language
- Telling you that you can be arrested and imprisoned if you do not pay
- Calling and hanging up, or using an autodialer to make preprogrammed calls
- Talking to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the debt
- Ignoring a formal cease communications request
Many debt collectors don’t consider the law an obstacle when it comes to collecting payments. They will do whatever it takes to make the consumer pay what’s owed.
Creditors Interchange is a collection agency with headquarters in Buffalo, New York. It was established in 2003 and acquired by Mercantile Adjustment Bureau in October 2012. The PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website contains archived litigation files that name Creditors Interchange as a defendant in multiple FDCPA violation cases.
According to PACER**, beginning or about September 8, 2010, Creditors Interchange began contacting a Michigan resident in connection with a debt she allegedly owed. A collection agent who identified herself as “Sherry Shifle” had sent her a validation notice at her home address and called her at home on September 8, 2010.
The following November, Ms. Shifle contacted two of her brothers in connection with the debt and left a message that she was “attempting to get a hold” of their sister. On November 23, 2010, she allegedly informed her that she was going to “contact all of your neighbors” in connection with the collection of the debt. That same day, she allegedly called her husband on his cell phone and discussed the debt, and left two voice messages on his cell phone, one on November 24th and the other on the 26th.
She filed a complaint that accused Creditors Interchange of the following FDCPA violations:
- Discussing her debt with her brothers and husband without her consent (15 U.S.C. §1692c)
- Engaging in behavior that harassed her in order to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Using deceptive means in connection with the collection the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. §1692e)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Creditors Interchange is 1-716-614-7500. If you see it on your caller ID, a debt collector from the company is trying to contact you about a debt. If they discuss your situation with unauthorized third parties and indulge in harassing, rude behavior, contact a consumer attorney.
Such actions are illegal when used to collect a debt, and if the matter escalates to court, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Even if you do owe the debt, you have rights that must be respected, or the collector risks incurring expensive penalties.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:10-cv-14740-PDB-VMM, from United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern 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 Creditors Interchangeor any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.