Is Focus Financial Services Calling You?* Here's what you need to know.
If you miss at least three payments for any of your debts, the creditor will eventually turn the account over to a third-party collection agency. Debt collectors will use all kinds of pressure tactics to get you to settle the account, but the good news is that the law requires them to behave professionally when they deal with you. When they don’t, you have grounds to sue.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 after predatory, aggressive debt collectors were causing personal bankruptcies to increase. The new law granted people the right to dispute a debt and tell third-party debt collectors to stop contacting them. It also prohibited the use of activities like those below when collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Calling at unreasonable and inconvenient hours
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling someone at work if they know that the employer does not permit such calls
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents to frighten debtors into paying
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take or have no intention of taking
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
Alleged Violations against Focus Financial Services*
Focus Financial Services is a debt collection agency located in Boynton Beach, Florida. It was founded in 1984, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its Director, Randy Kovalsky. Records held at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website as well as consumer complaints on websites like Ripoff Report confirm that Focus Financial Services has been accused of collection practices that violate the FDCPA.
On or about November 19, 2014, a Florida consumer received a bill from a medical creditor that reflected a balance of $65.90. A month later, on or about December 14, 2014, she received another letter stating that if her debt was assigned to an outside collection agency, a 35% fee would be added to the balance.
On January 22, 2015, Focus Financial Services sent the plaintiff a letter demanding a sum of $120.10, which included amounts for interest and collection charges. When another letter came on May 5, she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for these alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Trying to collect an amount not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Focus Financial Services are:
If either of these numbers appear on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is calling. If you receive letters demanding amounts that are inflated by collection fees and ‘interest’ charges, hire an attorney and fight it in court. You could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never back down from a ruthless debt collector: the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 0:15-cv-62207-WPD from 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 construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Focus Financial Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.