Is Global Collection Agency calling you? Here's what you need to know.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prevents debt collectors from employing unethical, abusive, or deceptive practices to collect payments for alleged debts from consumers. It defines a ‘debt collector’ as someone who regularly collects money owed to others: this includes collection agencies, companies that buy delinquent debts, and attorneys who collect debts on a regular basis.
As a consumer, you have several rights under the Act. They include but are not limited to:
- When and where a debt collector may contact you. Generally they may not call at inconvenient times (such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.) or contact you at work if you advise that you may not take calls there.
- Telling the collector in writing to stop contacting you. Legally, they are required to comply, especially if you advise that the debt is in dispute.
- Confidentiality. A debt collector may not tell uninvolved parties, such as your friends, neighbors, and roommates, about the debt. They can only discuss the matter with you, your spouse, and your attorney.
By law, a debt collector must send you a written notice within five (5) days of initially contacting you. This notice has to indicate how much money you allegedly owe, the name of your creditor(s), and how you may proceed if you dispute the debt. In all of their communications with you, they may not threaten, deceive, or harass you, or pretend to be an attorney or government agency if they are not.
Company Profile: Global Collection Agency*
Global Collection Agency, which recently changed its name to Affinity GlobaI, Inc, is a Canadian company with a debt collection division. It is headquartered in Markham, Ontario but has representatives in the United States (the company recently acquired Leading Edge Recovery Solutions, LLC) and Europe. Consumer affairs boards and the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system suggest that the company has allegedly engaged in activities that violate the FDCPA.
What to do if you get ‘the call’
If you receive a call from 800-563-4929, an Affinity Global representative is likely trying to contact you to collect payments on a presumed debt. Respond to any phone calls or written communications with a request for debt particulars, which must be provided to you within five (5) days. If you believe you do not owe the money, state that the debt is in dispute and send Affinity Global a formal written request to stop contacting you.
If an agency representative is verbally abusive and threatens to garnish your wages, send you to jail, expose you as a debtor, etc., contact an attorney at once. The FDCPA prohibits collection agencies from such hostile tactics and you can be compensated up to $1000, plus additional damages. Your attorney can advise you on how to safeguard your rights and ensure that the harassment stops.
The size and nature of your debt have nothing to do with how you should be treated as a human being. If third-party collectors are subjecting you to the type of harassment outlined in the FDCPA, you should consider completing a free case evaluation and filing a claim with the help of an FDCPA attorney. Winning your claim could mean netting $1000 for each FDCPA violation, along with additional damages, and having an attorney increases the likelihood that you’ll have a successful claim. Your attorney can aid in gathering evidence, arguing on your behalf, and knowing exactly what is required at each point in the case. In other words, your attorney will be in the best position to help you navigate this complex process and finally get the peace of mind that you deserve.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 0:12-cv-01236-RHK-JSM, from United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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 Global Collection Agency or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.