Is Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
With student loans coming in long past graduation, medical bills not covered by insurance, and credit card obligations, most Americans carry some degree of personal debt. When job loss, injury, or another crisis has an adverse effect on cash flow, debt can quickly transform from minor nuisance to overwhelming crisis. Once these accounts go too far in arrears, they are usually turned over to third-party debt collectors, who are not always ethical in their pursuit of money.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and restricts what third-party debt collectors can say or do while attempting to collect debt payments from a consumer. Under this consumer protection law, the following actions are prohibited:
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Using profane and abusive language
- Contacting someone at work after being informed that the employer does not permit such calls
- Claiming to be police officials or government agents
- Threatening consequences they cannot legally inflict, or have no intention of carrying out
- Discussing the debt with anyone but the consumer, a spouse, an attorney, and any debt co-signers
Alleged Violations against Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc.*
Some debt collectors persist in using illegal collection methods. Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc. is a collection agency headquartered in Houston, Texas. It was established in 2005, has 20 to 49 employees, and collects all types of consumer debt. The civil litigation records filed at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc has been accused of breaching the FDCPA during debt collection attempts.
On or around August 12, 2009, a debt collector from Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc who identified himself as "Desso" called the home of a Texas resident, who allegedly owed a debt. He allegedly spoke to her daughter and disclosed that her mother owed a debt. During this discussion Desso also allegedly represented that Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc was a law firm and preparing file a lawsuit against the plaintiff.
On or around August 24, 2009, Desso again allegedly spoke to the daughter in connection with the collection of the debt, and re-iterated that the company was preparing to sue the plaintiff. Mariah later claimed that Desso warned that the amount of the debt would likely increase to $20,000 if it was not paid before they filed a lawsuit against her mother.
Embarrassed, the plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Discussing the debt with an uninvolved third party (15 U.S.C. § 1692c)
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
The matter was later settled.
The phone numbers for Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc are 1-800-504-6117 and 1-713-395-5120. If either number shows up on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt they have been assigned to collect. If they discuss the alleged financial obligation with your family and other involved third parties, contact a consumer attorney.
Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc may only contact such individuals for the purposes of locating you, and if you decide to sue the company you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages, court fees, and attorney costs. When a debt collector pushes you too far, you have the ability--and the right--to push back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:09-cv-03986, from United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston 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 Goldman, Imani & Goldberg, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.