Is Eastern Account System, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Money problems can happen to anyone. All it can take is injury, illness, or an expensive catastrophe (e.g. divorce, an unexpected car or house repair) to send someone into serious debt.
When you are no longer able to make the minimum payments on your financial obligations, your creditors may eventually turn the accounts over to a third-party collection agency or sell them to a junk debt buyer, and the calls and letters from debt collectors begin.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from predatory and abusive debt collection tactics like the following:
- Calling you at all hours, and even at your workplace after you tell them you can’t talk to them there
- Swearing, yelling, and using profanities
- Threatening to have you arrested or sent to jail if you do not pay
- Demanding amounts that are not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents
- Telling your friends, co-workers, and neighbors that they’re trying to collect money from you
These activities are all illegal, but many debt collectors all over the country persist in using them to collect debts, believing that the consumer will be too intimidated to report them.
Alleged Violations against Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc*
Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc is a collection agency headquartered in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Established in 1992, it collects consumer debt all over the country. A quick check of records archived by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website turns up several cases involving this particular debt collector and allegations of FDCPA violations.
In or around 2012, a New Jersey resident received a series of collection notices from Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc regarding a debt she allegedly owed to Comcast for cable television and some unknown “equipment charge."
She later complained that the agency bombarded her with six identical letters entitled “Final Notice," all of them dated October 12, 2012 and demanding immediate payment. A charge of $3.95 was requested for paying the debt, and she claimed that Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc failed to send her a 30-day validation notice within five days of their initial communication.
Through her attorney, she accused Rannefeld & Associates of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in behavior that harassed her in order to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Using deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
- Failing to send a 30-day validation notice within five days of the initial communication (15 U.S.C. § 1692g)
- Failing to state her right to dispute the debt within 30 days (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(3))
- Attempting to collect an amount not authorized by agreement of law (15 U.S.C. § 1692f(3))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc is 1-203-426-7834, so if it appears on your caller ID, be warned that a debt collector is trying to contact you about settling a debt. If they bombard you with letters to an extent that you find harassing, try to make you pay a fee to settle the debt, or send you notices that do not make your rights clear, contact a consumer attorney.
These actions violate the FDCPA, and your attorney can help you pursue the matter in court. You could receive $1,000 per violation in statutory damages as well as actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees. These penalties remind debt collectors that you have rights, and those rights need to be respected.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:13-cv-00154-JEI-JS from United States District Court, District of New Jersey.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Eastern Account System of Connecticut, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.