Is DBF Collection Corporation calling you? Here's what you need to know.
In today’s challenging economic climate, more Americans are struggling to keep their credit card payments up to date. If you lose your job due to illness, restructuring, or layoffs, even the minimum installments may prove impossible to keep up. Once a few payments are missed, debt collectors will start calling and sending letters.
Many people who are pursued by debt collectors do not know what their rights are. If a collector yells at them, threatens to garnish their wages, and demands an amount inflated by ‘service fees’ and other charges, they assume they can only make the harassment stop by declaring bankruptcy.
The reality is that such bullying is illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Although debt collectors may legally call or send you letters to collect a debt, they are not allowed to be unethical or abusive. Below is a sample of actions that are illegal when used to obtain debt payments.
- Using abusive and obscene language
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone.
- Calling your workplace if the collector knows that your employer won’t allow it
- Revealing details about the debt to anyone but you, your spouse, attorney, and co-signers.
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take, such as having your property seized and wages garnished
- Threatening harm to your person, property, and / or credit rating
DBF Collection Corporation is a collection agency located in Hewlett, New York. It was established in 1984, employs a smaller staff of under 20, and has an active membership in the American Collectors Association International. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that DBF Collection Corporation has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA during debt collection attempts.
Plaintiff v. DBF Collection Corporation
According to PACER**, on or about September 10, 2008, a New Jersey resident began receiving letters from DBF Collection Corporation in an effort to collect an alleged housing-related debt. The following week, he contacted the agency via fax, requesting verification, as he had not leased the apartment in question when the debt was incurred. Although Mr. Matray advised DBF Collection Corporation it was contacting wrong party, the agency allegedly failed to respond and instead, continued to send collection letters.
On or about December 7, 2008, he sent a second fax insisting that he was not the lessee at the time the debt was incurred and did not owe it. The Plaintiff later alleged that DBF Collection Corporation soon learned the identity of the correct debtor and even collected approximately $6,000 in payments for the past due rent from that person. At the same time, it allegedly continued to attempt to collect from him.
The Plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing DBF Collection Corporation of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in conduct that harassed him in connection with the debt he did not owe (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Misrepresenting the amount of the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2))
- Making deceptive, false or misleading representations when attempting to collect the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
- Trying to collect amounts expressly not permitted by law (15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1))
- Failing to send written notice of the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. §1692(g)(a))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for DBF Collection Corporation is 1-516-295-4636. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt you may not even owe. If they ignore you when you dispute the debt and do not provide you with the required validation, see a consumer attorney.
Such tactics violate the FDCPA, and if you take the agency to court, you could potentially receive $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages. When debt collectors ‘forget’ that you have rights, the FDCPA gives them an expensive reminder.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:09-cv-05859-FLW-LHG from United States District Court, District of New Jersey)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against DBF Collection Corporation or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.