The last call you want to receive is from a debt collector. Your life may be stressful enough with current financial obligations on your mind.
If the collector is hostile or deceptive during any or all of the communications, it can take a serious toll on your health and well-being.
You do not have to put up with harassing, constant phone call and letters from debt collectors.
Harassment by third-party debt collectors resulted in so many marriage breakdowns, personal bankruptcies, and illness that in 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA.
This law is designed to protect your rights and punishes debt collectors who use illegal and unethical practices that lower your quality of life.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Under this federal consumer protection law, deceptive and hostile tactics like those below became illegal:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer prohibits such calls
- Ignoring a formal request to cease communications
- Threatening action they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking, such as having you arrested or seizing your assets
- Calling non-stop with the intention of annoying and harassing you
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Bullying and deceiving consumers in any way is illegal under the FDCPA, but some debt collectors use these methods to obtain fast and unethical payments.
Alleged Violations against Frost-Arnett Company*
Frost-Arnett Company is a collection agency headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. It was established in 1893 and is dedicated to the healthcare collections field, with three call centers covering all time zones.
The civil litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Frost-Arnett Company has been accused of violating consumer rights during debt collection attempts.
Maureen Taylor v. Frost-Arnett Company
On September 4, 2014, an Atlanta resident received a collection letter from Frost-Arnett Company. Allegedly, this letter claimed that she owed $682.00 for “Account Number: FKS924.”
It then added that she owed three debts for which it identifies the creditor as Quantum Radiology PC and identified a different account number for each respective debt.
The collection letter also claimed that the plaintiff owed $253.00 for “PREVIOUS DEBTS,” but did not provide the identity of the creditor, the account number, or any other identifying details.
She was unable to determine either the identity of any creditor or the amount owed to any specific creditor for the “Previous Debts.”
She hired a consumer attorney and sued Frost-Arnett Company of the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt
- Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt
- Sending a letter that failed to properly identify the creditors for all alleged debts
The matter was later settled.
Speak with an Attorney Today
The phone numbers for Frost-Arnett Company are:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector may be trying to collect a debt from you.
The FDCPA requires total clarity and transparency in all of a debt collector's communications with you, so if you receive a letter that makes it unclear what you owe and to whom, contact a consumer attorney who can protect your rights and help you pursue the matter in court.
You could potentially be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages, court fees, and attorney costs.
Never forget that even if you do owe money, debt collectors must follow approved guidelines when collecting it, or end up owing you money instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:14-cv-03778-RWS, from United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta 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 Frost-Arnett Company or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.