Is Express Collections, Inc Calling You? Here's What You Need to Know*
When you’re unable to keep up your monthly bill payments, your creditors may eventually turn the accounts over to third-party debt collectors.
These collection agencies typically work directly for your original creditors or simply buy the charged-off debt, a process known as ‘junk debt’ buying.
Although debt collectors may legally contact you to collect a debt, they are not permitted to harass you.
As a consumer you have legal protection under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, which places firm limitations on how third-party collection agencies may treat you during the process of collecting a debt.
Examples of illegal behavior from a collections agency include:
- Swearing and calling you names like loser or deadbeat
- Calling at all hours of the day and night and even appearing at your house
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them you’re not allowed to talk to them there
- Threatening to call the police on you if you don’t pay
- Talking to uninvolved parties such as your friends, family, and co-workers about the debt
Alleged Violations against Express Collections, Inc*
Express Collections, Inc is a collection agency located in Rapid City, South Dakota.
It was established in 1999, employs a smaller staff of under 20, and has an active membership in the Association of American Credit and Collections Professionals and the South Dakota Collectors Association.
Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that Express Collections, Inc has been accused of violating consumer rights during the debt collection process.
On or about May 14, 2013, a South Dakota resident contacted Express Collections, Inc by phone regarding an alleged medical debt.During this call, she asked, “What would happen if I don't pay it?” The representative allegedly stated, “The next step would be for a judge to decide.”
It later came to light that Express Collections, Inc did not have the authority to sue the South Dakota resident on the date that comment was made, as the original creditor did not assign the account to Express Collections, Inc until May 20.
She took the comment as an non-enforceable legal threat, since on May 14 Express Collections, Inc did not have authority to have a “judge decide.”
She hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Express Collections, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Threatening to take action that could not legally be taken
- Stating that documents were legal process when they were not.
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for Express Collections, Inc include:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, a debt collector may be attempting to collect a debt from you.
If they threaten consequences that never happen and you learn that they contact you before they are legally empowered to collect the debt, see a consumer attorney. Such actions violate the FDCPA, and you could be awarded $1,000 in statutory damages per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages you may have suffered.
When a debt collector crosses the line with you, a good attorney will help you assert your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:14-cv-04079-RAL from United States District Court, District of South Dakota, Sioux Falls 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 Express Collections, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.