Being contacted regularly by a debt collector is highly stressful, even when the agency in question is being relatively civil. When they are aggressive, they can make your life a nightmare, if the number of complaints the Federal Trade Commission receives each year are any indication. If this happens to you, don’t presume that you have to tolerate such abuse, because you don’t.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, protects indebted consumers from being abused by overzealous debt collectors. The FDCPA makes it illegal for a third-party collection agency to use tactics like those below when attempting to collect a debt.
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Threatening action they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Using profane or obscene language
- Refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking to collect a debt
Company Profile: Five Lakes Agency, Inc.
If you are being called by Five Lakes Agency, Inc. information about the third-party collection agency is below.
Five Lakes Agency, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Troy, Michigan. It was established in 2011, has 11 to 50 employees, and is managed by its Chairman, Tom Mason. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that many consumers who believed they were being harassed by Five Lakes Agency, Inc. filed lawsuits to stop the contact.
Alleged Violations against Five Lakes Agency, Inc.
According to PACER, on October 1, 2012 Five Lakes Agency, Inc. left a voice message on the home phone of a Florida resident. It allegedly stated:
Hello. This message is for [plaintiff’s name]. My name is Theresa Brown and I’m calling from Five Lakes Agency. We’re agents for JP Morgan Chase Bank. We do need you to return the call and can be reached at 855-824-1000. My extension is 1154. We’re available from 8am to 10pm, Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 9 to 3pm, eastern standard time. Thank you.
The plaintiff later claimed that the company had left similar messages in the past, and failed to identify itself as a debt collector in all of them. Feeling harassed by Five Lakes Agency, Inc., he hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA by failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications.
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see either number on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Five Lakes Agency, Inc.. If they fail to identify themselves as debt collectors in each communication, hire a consumer attorney. This lack of transparency violates the FDCPA, and if you file a claim against Five Lakes Agency, Inc. and win, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages, putting a collection agency in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 0:13-cv-61080-JIC from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Five Lakes Agency, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.