In these difficult financial times, an increasing number of people are defaulting on their student loans and even finding themselves unable to pay their credit cards and monthly bills. To compel payment, debt collectors have become more aggressive and persistent.
They call people at work, shout at them, and use profane language, knowing that most debtors are unaware of their rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that legally protects indebted consumers from abusive and unfair collection practices. It applies to consumer debts accrued for personal, family, or household use and prohibit debt collectors from using methods like those below.
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Use profane or obscene language
- Discussing the debt with your coworkers, neighbors, and friends
- Demanding amounts that exceed the original debt
- Threatening legal action they have no intention of taking
- Leaving voice messages that do not identify the collector and the purpose of their call
Company Profile: Educational Credit Management Corporation
If you are being called by the Educational Credit Management Corporation, information about the company is below.
Educational Credit Management Corporation is a student loan debt collection agency located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It opened for business in 1994, has 250 to 499 people on staff, and is managed by its CEO, Jan Hines.
According to its website, the company offers a range of services to students, schools and lenders participating in the Federal Family Educational Loan Program.
Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that people who felt they were being harassed by the Educational Credit Management Corporation hired consumer attorneys and fought back.
Alleged Violations against the Educational Credit Management Corporation*
According to PACER, sometime in or around mid-February 2017 the Educational Credit Management Corporation sent a collection letter to a New Jersey man regarding a student loan debt.
He sent two letters dated February 28, 2017 back to the agency disputing the debt, but the company allegedly failed or refused to report the debt as disputed to the credit bureaus.
Feeling harassed by the Educational Credit Management Corporation, the plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and sued the agency for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to report a debt as disputed
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for the Educational Credit Management Corporation are as follows:
If either of them appear on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by the Educational Credit Management Corporation. If you dispute a debt they are trying to collect and they fail to report it as disputed to the credit bureaus, hire a consumer attorney.
If you decide to file a claim against the Educational Credit Management Corporation, you could potentially win $1,000 per violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. No matter how much you owe, a debt collector can be penalized if they try to collect it without obeying the law.
*Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number isCase 1:17-cv-08888-RMB-KMW from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the Educational Credit Management Corporation, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.