It can be distressing to be so deep in debt that you can no longer make the payments on your credit card bills, medical debt, and other accounts. When debt collectors start calling, a new level of stress sets in.
Whatever you do, don’t panic. Instead, learn what third-party debt collectors can and cannot do to make you settle the debt.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from malicious misconduct on the part of third-party debt collectors. Under the FDCPA, collection tactics like the following are illegal and can result in serious fines and sanctions.
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using an autodialer to leave a series of pre-recorded messages
- Threatening legal actions that they have no intention of taking
- Demanding amounts that exceed the original debt total
- Contacting you at work after learning that the employer does not permit such calls
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
Company Profile: Empire Collection Authorities, Inc.
If you are being called by Empire Collection Authorities, Inc., information about the company is below.
Empire Collection Authorities, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Aberdeen, Washington. It was established in 2009, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its President, Alonzo Cole.
According to litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, several consumers who believed they were being harassed by Empire Collection Authorities, Inc. went to court to demand compensation for their rights violations.
Alleged Violations Against Empire Collection Authorities, Inc.
According to PACER, in or around mid-2011, Empire Collection Authorities, Inc. started making collection calls to a Idaho resident. A collector who identified himself as Mr. Lane allegedly said he was calling from the Legal Department and threatened to take the plaintiff's wife to small claims court and garnish her wages if the alleged debt was not paid.
Feeling harassed by Empire Collection Authorities, Inc., The plaintiffs hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA by:
- Using abusive and oppressive means to collect a debt
- Threatening legal action they did not intend to take
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
A judge later ruled in favor of the plaintiffs of a judgement of $5,522.50.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If either one appears on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Empire Collection Authorities, Inc.. If they are verbally abusive and threaten lawsuits simply to expedite payment, don’t tolerate such abuse. Instead, hire a consumer attorney who can help you file a claim against Empire Collection Authorities, Inc.
You could potentially receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and damages. Standing up for yourself against an unethical debt collector can be the smartest corrective action you can take.
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Empire Collection Authorities, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:11-cv-00248-BLW-CWD from the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.