Is Global Vantedge calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
The U.S. Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, in September 1977 because complaints about third-party debt collectors abusing consumers were rampant. The FDCPA regulates what these debt collectors can say or do while attempting to collect payment for a debt, and providers consumers with a way to protect themselves when confronted with an unethical and abusive collection agency.
Under the FDCPA, a debt collector is prohibited from the following actions:
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Calling someone at work after being informed that the employer does not permit such calls
- Using profane and abusive language
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking, such as having someone arrested or garnishing their wages
- Pretending to be police officers or government employees
- Contacting someone who has retained an attorney with regards to the debt
- Discuss the debt with anyone except the consumer, their attorney, spouse, or co-signer
Alleged Violations against Global Vantedge*
Some debt collectors keeping crossing the line regardless of the law. Global Vantedge is a worldwide debt collector with over 1400 employees and facilities in San Jose, Costa Rica, and India. Outlying offices are located in the US, UK, and Australia. A check of civil litigation records held by PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) turns up several instances of Global Vantedge being sued for improper debt collection practices.
In 2008, a New York resident started getting calls from Global Vantedge debt collectors about a debt he allegedly owed. He told them that the debt had already been settled with the original creditor, and sent a letter requesting no further contact. These collectors allegedly insisted that it had not been settled and warned him that if he did not pay, there would be consequences, the least of which was damaged credit.
In the complaint he later filed, the plaintiff said that agency representatives phoned him repeatedly before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. and on holidays. They also allegedly contacted uninvolved third parties and discussed the debt with them, and refused to stop even after some of these associates of the plaintiff requested no further contact. The debt collectors even supposedly used language calculated to alarm, asking that the plaintiff call them back on an emergency matter.
Global Vantedge was accused of the following FDCPA violations:
- Calling the plaintiff at times or places which were known or should have been known to be inconvenient for him (§ 1692c(a)(1))
- Contacting third parties in connection with collection of an alleged debt, disclosing the existence of the debt to that third party, refusing to stop calling after repeated requests to stop, and using alarming language when calling such parties (§ 1692c(b) & § 1692b(1)(2)(3) & § 1692d))
- Falsely representing the character, amount, or legal status of the debt (§ 1692e(2)(A))
- Falsely representing or implying that nonpayment of the debt would result in the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of the plaintiff’s property or wages (§ 1692e(4))
- Communicating or threatening to communicate credit information which was known or which should have been known to be false (§ 1692e(8))
- Communicating with the plaintiff after having received a letter with a request to cease and desist all collection contacts (§ 1692c(c))
- Failing to provide the plaintiff with the notices required by 15 USC § 1692g within 5 days after the original communication.
The matter was later settled.
If you get a call from 1-800-363-4816, be aware that the caller is from Global Vantedge and they are attempting to collect a debt you may not even owe. If they fail to provide you with a validation notice within five days after the first communication, ignore your requests for no further contact, or make empty threats of legal action if you don’t pay, see a consumer attorney and consider taking Global Vantedge to court for illegal collection tactics.
If you win, you could receive damages of $1000 for every FDCPA violation, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs. Every so often collection agencies need such reminders that the law is in place for a reason, and there are consequences for breaking it.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:09-cv-00865-LEK-DRH, from United States District Court, Northern District of New York.
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 Vantedge or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.