Is Elite Recovery Services, Inc calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
When you’ve fallen behind in your debt payments, you’ll eventually start getting collection calls and notices. Many debt collectors are rude and abrasive: they threaten to go to your home or workplace, put a lien on your house, and ruin your credit permanently. It’s upsetting, but you wonder if there is anything you can do. Collecting a debt is legal, isn’t it?
Yes. But harassing consumers is not.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from unethical debt collectors. It allows you to dispute a debt and tell the collector not to contact you any more, and prohibits actions like the following when used to collect a debt.
- Calling you at all hours when the FDCPA forbids them from contacting you outside of the 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. time frame
- Telling you that you will arrested or your wages garnished if you don’t pay
- Calling your friends, family, and coworkers and telling them about the debt
- Swearing at you and using intimidating language
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents with power to enforce payment
These collection tactics are illegal, but debt collectors continue to use them because they work: people become so embarrassed and stressed that they pay whatever the collector is demanding.
Alleged Violations against Elite Recovery Services, Inc*
Elite Recovery Services, Inc is a collection agency with headquarters in Buffalo, New York. It was established in 2003, has a small staff, and collects consumer debt all over the U.S.. According to records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, consumers have taken Elite Recovery Services, Inc to court for allegedly violating their rights during debt collection attempts.
In June 2008, Pennsylvania resident received a call at his place of employment from Elite Recovery Services, Inc, which was trying to collect a delinquent debt from him. He advised the collector that he was not permitted to receive personal calls there, but a follow-up call took place the following August. This time a collector spoke to the payroll manager and allegedly said that it had obtained a judgement against him and would be faxing paperwork for wage garnishment the next day. It later came to light that Elite Recovery Services, Inc did not have a judgement, but he was stressed and embarrassed.
He hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Elite Recovery Services, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Calling his workplace after being told he could not take their calls there (15 U.S.C. §1692c)
- Discussing the debt with the company payroll manager, who was not authorized to know about it (15 U.S.C. §1692c)
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §1692f)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Elite Recovery Services, Inc is 1-888-511-7251. If it appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt it has been assigned to collect from you. The FDCPA requires them to be civil and professional when dealing with you, so if they contact you at work after being told that such calls are not permitted and make false claims to your payroll manager about imminent garnishment papers, contact a consumer attorney.
You could win $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, as well as court cost, attorney fees, and any actual damages due to stress or embarrassment. When debt collectors push you too far, your attorney will help you pull them back and protect your rights in the process.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 5:09-cv-01005-LS from United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Allentown 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 Elite Recovery Services, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.