Is FJR Asset Management calling you? There are some things you should know.*
Constant calls from debt collectors are stressful and annoying. They interrupt your day, remind you that you owe money, and can be both rude and demanding.
Is there anything you can do to make them stop calling you at all hours, swearing when you answer, and constantly threatening lawsuits?
You may not have known, but you do have options. You can hold debt collectors responsible for their actions, and you can make them pay for harrasing you.
In 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, in response to consumer complaints about abusive debt collectors.
The FDCPA provides consumers with the right to dispute a debt, demand its validation and tell the collector to stop calling them.
It also makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use tactics like those below:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening to take you to court, garnish your wages, or have you arrested
- Refusing or failing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Swearing and yelling at you.
- Contacting you at work after you tell them that your boss won’t let you take such calls
- Failing or refusing to report disputed debts to the credit bureaus
Although these actions violate the FDCPA, debt collectors keep using them because too many consumers are either afraid of the collectors, or simply fail to report them.
Alleged Violations against FJR Asset Management*
FJR Asset Management is a collection agency located in Houston, Texas. It was established in 2004, has a small staff of less than 20 employees and collects consumer debt all over the country.
A review of the litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that FJR Asset Management has been accused of violating the FDCPA while dealing with indebted consumers.
In May 2002, a Texas resident paid Katy Freeway Tire & Automotive (KFTA) to install a new serpentine belt. After that belt broke in less than two months, she went back to KFTA for repairs again in July and wrote a check for the cost of towing and another belt replacement.
When this belt broke again within days of her last visit to KFTA, the plaintiff took her automobile to another dealership, which corrected the problem.
Concluding that KFTA had installed the serpentine belt improperly on two occasions and forced her to pay for the work to be redone, the plaintiff stopped payment on her second check to the company. When KFTA then sought to repossess her vehicle, she complained to consumer affairs at Firestone Tire and Rubber, the franchisor.
It was agreed that Firestone would reimburse the plaintiff for the cost of the initial repairs and the cost of a rental car and that KFTA would tear up her second check. Allegedly, she had no outstanding debt.
Despite this agreement, FJR Asset Management allegedly called about six to nine months later and threatened to repossess her vehicle over her stopping payment on the check.
On or about December 11, 2004, the agency mailed a letter to the plaintiff which threatened criminal prosecution for a check that was returned with a stop pay order unless she paid $270.49 within 10 days.
The amount of the underlying check was disclosed as $170.49 in the letter. The plaintiff claims the letter provided no explanation for the added $100 being sought.
When the plaintiff called FJR Asset Management in response to the letter, she was told that she must pay the sum demanded in the letter, because she accepted services and then stopped payment on the check that she provided as compensation.
She responded by hiring a consumer attorney and filing a complaint accusing FJR Asset Management of the following FDCPA violations:
- Misrepresenting the amount of the alleged debt
- Implying that she could be prosecuted for stopping payment on the check
- Threatening legal action that it did not intend to take
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt
- Failing to send a debt validation notice
The matter was later settled.
The phone number for FJR Asset Management is 1-713-688-8111. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector may be attempting to collect a debt you may not even owe.
If they threaten you with legal action and you know you do not owe the money, see a consumer attorney.
Such collection tactics are against the law, and if you sue FJR Asset Management you could win $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages.
Never let yourself be bullied into paying a nonexistent debt. When you need help, a good consumer attorney is your best asset.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:05-cv-00663 from United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston 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 FJR Asset Management or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.