Is Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC calling you? Here's what you need to know.
When you run into financial difficulties and can no longer make the minimum payments on your financial obligations, the accounts will eventually be turned over to a third party collection agency. This is when an already-troubling situation can become much worse: many debt collectors are aggressive, rude, and will pursue the debt to the point of harassment.
Legally, they’re not allowed to take things that far. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive and predatory debt collection methods. Examples of illegal behaviors include:
- Cursing at you and calling you names
- Making threats they cannot legally follow up on, such as having you arrested
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Demanding payment amounts not supported by law or the agreement with the original creditor
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer doesn’t let you take personal calls
- Contacting your friends and family and telling them that you owe money
Although these actions and others like them have been illegal for nearly 40 years, debt collectors persist in using them because consumers are too frightened and/or unaware of their rights to report them.
Alleged Violations against Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC*
Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC (now Eltman Law) is a debt collection law office with headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey. It was established in 1947, has a staff of 50-200 employees, and manages over 700,000 accounts for debt buyers and underwriters throughout the country. According to records on file at the the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Eltman Law has been accused of violating the FDCPA while attempting to collect debts.
In 2007 Conneticut resident began getting collection calls from Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC about a delinquent debt totalling $11,000. When a debt collector allegedly told her that her accounts would be frozen if she did not make a payment, she remitted a $1,000 payment by check and made more payments over the next three years until the debt was reduced to $5133.25.
In June 2010 she received a call from a different debt collector, Tate & Kirlin Associates, whose representative informed her that the debt had been sold to them. Confused, she contacted Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC. The party who answered the phone allegedly assured her that an email would be sent to the other collector to fix the problem, but no email was ever sent.
She hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct (15 U.S.C. §1692d)
- Using deceptive means to collect the debt (15 U.S.C. §1692e)
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §1692f)
- Communicating false information about the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Eltman Law is 1-212-660-3100. If it appears on your caller ID, a collection agent from the firm is attempting to collect a debt from you. If the firm fails to treat you in an ethical and professional manner and passes your debt to another party without your knowledge, make an appointment to see a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA prohibits such behavior when dealing with consumers, and your attorney can help you pursue the matter in court. You could win $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, along with related court costs and attorney fees. A good attorney can assist you in enforcing the rights that the law gives you.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:11-cv-01333-AWTD from United States District Court, District of Connecticut.
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 Eltman, Eltman & Cooper PC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.