Is Global Debt Solutions, Inc calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Abusive debt collectors made headlines everywhere in November 2015, when the Federal Trade Commission announced that agencies all over the country were facing charges for allegedly using unethical and unprofessional collection practices. The conduct in question included verbal abuse, harassment by telephone, and even demanding ‘phantom’ debts that didn’t exist.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits third-party debt collectors from using tactics like the following when collecting or attempting to collect a debt from you.
- Swearing and calling you names like “deadbeat” or “loser”
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Telling you that you will be arrested, have your wages garnished, or lose your house if you don’t pay
- Ignoring you when you send them a formal cease communications request
- Discussing your debt with your friends, neighbors, and co-workers
These collection tricks are against the law, but forty years after the FDCPA was passed, debt collectors continue to use them because they work: consumers end up paying the debt just to bring the harassment to an end.
Alleged Violations against Global Debt Solutions, Inc*
Global Debt Solutions, Inc is a collection agency located in Boca Raton, Florida. It was established in 2007, has a small staff of less than 10, and is a member of the International Association of Commercial Collectors. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Global Debt Solutions, Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA when dealing with consumers.
In 2008 a Florida resident filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, having run into financial difficulties after the death of her husband. She was discharged the following year. On April 26, 2012, Global Debt Solutions sent her a collection letter in an attempt to collect Homeowner’s Association Fees associated with her former address.
When she read the letter, the plaintiff had the impression that Global Debt Solutions had recommended that a lawsuit be filed against her when in fact no such recommendation was made nor could be made in light of her earlier bankruptcy.
Another letter followed, this one stating:
We are writing to you to advise that as soon as a summons is served, you will become liable for substantial additional costs, interest and disbursements. You will also be subject to a Judgment being rendered against you, and an execution will be issued to the court officer for an immediate levy.
She took this letter to mean that she would be liable for “substantial” litigation expense and interest “as soon as the summons is served” when in fact she would not be liable for any such expense and interest.
Both of these letters were sent in an envelope that allegedly clearly displayed Global Debt Solutions as the sender.
The plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Global Debt Solutions of the following FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Falsely representing the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
- Making a threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or is not intended to be taken
- Using false and deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect a debt
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collection agency in the initial communication
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using any language or symbol on envelopes, other than the debt collector’s address, when communicating with Ms. Thompson
- Failing to send debt validation paperwork
A judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff.
The phone number for Global Debt Solutions is 1-561-483-5588. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to reach you. If they attempt to collect a debt that was discharged in a bankruptcy and make threats that cannot legally be enforced, contact a consumer attorney and let them help you fight back in court.
You could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages. Collecting a debt is legal, but abusing consumers is not, so never hesitate to stand up for your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 0:12-cv-61034-KMW from the United States District Court, 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 Global Debt Solutions, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.