In 1977 the US Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect consumers from from unfair and abusive debt collection practices. Anyone who owes a debt has certain legal rights under the FDCPA, including the right to take action against debt collectors that act in prohibited ways.
As a debtor under the FDCPA, you can:
- Sue collection agencies who violate FDCPA rules when dealing with you
- Prevent collection agencies from disclosing information about the debt to anyone not authorized to know about it
- Receive information about the debt within five days of being contacted about it
- Send a letter to debt collectors ordering them to stop contacting you
- Be represented by an attorney in a debt collection case, requiring debt collectors and creditors to only deal with your attorney
Collectors may not imply that they represent an attorney’s office or that they are backed by law enforcement when dealing with you. They also cannot make ongoing calls to your place of employment if you refuse to take such calls.
Alleged Violations against First Revenue Assurance*
Not all debt collectors will abide by such restrictions. First Revenue Assurance is the ‘creditor’s rights’ division of Virtuoso Sourcing Group, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company’s LinkedIn profile indicates that the employee count is between 50 and 200. Frequent complaints have been made about alleged debt collection practices that breach the FDCPA. A review of the litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that First Revenue Assurance has been accused of violating the FDCPA while dealing with indebted consumers.
In November 2009, an Illinois resident, filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Northern District of Illinois. Among the listed debts was an amount owed to Nicor for natural gas and service.
The plaintiff claimed that in May 2010, an agent of First Revenue Assurance called her in an attempt to collect the debt. She informed that agent that she had filed for bankruptcy, but the calls continued. According to the summons and complaint filed, one representative stated that “they did not care about the bankruptcy and that they still wanted their money.” When the plaintiff tried to give them her attorney’s contact details, the agent allegedly refused to accept it and hung up. Many of the First Revenue representatives allegedly used rude and abusive language when she refused to pay. One even threatened to sue her and garnish her wages.
The plaintiff’s attorney accused the agency of multiple violations of FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §1692, including abusive communications and threatening legal action that they were not authorized to take. Case details logged into PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records System) confirm that the court entered Final Judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
What to do if you get ‘the call’
If you receive a call from 877-407-4764 or receive a written communication, First Revenue Assurance is contacting you about an alleged debt. Request confirmation in writing that you owe the debt, as well as its particulars. Under the FDCPA, you must be provided with these details within five (5) days. If they refuse, become verbally abusive, or threaten legal action, contact an attorney with experience in FDCPA cases. Collection agencies that violate the law may be liable to compensate you up to $1,000 for each offense.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:11-cv-03396, from the Northern District Illinois Court.
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 First Revenue Assurance or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.