Is Edward Sloan and Associates calling you? Here's what you need to know.
When the economy is difficult, people all over the country can experience financial hardship through no fault of their own. Companies shut down and layoffs occur, putting people out of work and making it impossible to maintain their financial obligations.
Once they miss a certain number of payments, their creditors usually turn the accounts over to third-party debt collectors or charge them off and sell them to junk debt buyers.
Either way, the collection calls and notices soon begin.
Although no one wants to hear from a debt collector, legally they are not allowed to harass and intimidate you into paying the debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, a consumer protection act passed in 1977, makes it illegal to use actions like the following when collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Using profane and abusive language to frighten a debtor into paying
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Demanding amounts inflated by ‘service charges’ and other miscellaneous fees
- Telling you that you can be arrested for nonpayment of a debt and / or have your assets seized by the sheriff
- Discussing the debt with anyone but you, your spouse or your attorney
Alleged Violations against Edward Sloan and Associates*
Edward Sloan and Associates is a collection agency located in Winnsboro, Texas. It was established in 1991, employs a smaller staff, and has an active membership in the Association of American Credit and Collections Professionals. A search of litigation records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that Edward Sloan and Associates has been sued by consumers who felt that their rights were being disregarded during debt collection attempts.
In September 2012 Texas resident obtained her consumer credit reports from all three major consumer reporting agencies. She noticed that Edward Sloan and Associates had placed allegedly inaccurate information on TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax consumer reports regarding an account they were attempting to collect from her.
Ms. Miller sent a letter via registered mail demanding that Edward Sloan and Associates validate the debt they were attempting to collect. On or around September 28, 2012 she received a letter from the company, but it did not contain any documentation, contract, and/or agreement showing that Edward Sloan and Associates had the authority to collect on the account. The agency also did not provide any legal proof that Ms. Miller had personally incurred the alleged debt.
In October Ms. Miller sent a letter via USPS Certified Mail informing the collection agency that their actions were a violation of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, but Edward Sloan and Associates allegedly never responded, and negative information remained on her credit report.
Ms. Miller hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Edward Sloan and Associates of the following FDCPA violations:
- Threatening to take action that could not legally be taken (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Stating that documents were legal process when they were not (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(13))
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
- Making a collection demand and not providing the disclosures required (15 U.S.C. § 1692g)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Edward Sloan and Associates is 1-903-342-3802. If it appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to contact you about a debt you allegedly owe. The FDCPA prohibits inaccurate credit reporting and unethical debt collection practices, so if Edward Sloan and Associates puts negative trade lines on your credit report and fails to validate the debt, see a consumer attorney who can help you take them to court.
You could receive $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages you may have suffered. Your attorney will guide you through the process and ensure that your rights as a consumer are protected the entire time.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:13-cv-00098-A from United States District Court, Northern District of New Texas, Fort Worth Division.
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 Edward Sloan and Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.