Is Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Debt collectors have a bad reputation for abusive, tricking, and harassing the people they are trying to collect money from. In 1977 the situation was so out-of-control that the US government enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA to stop the oppressive collection tactics that were driving so many people to bankruptcy. The FDCPA providers consumers with the right to:
- Request that collectors contact them only in writing or stop contacting them altogether
- Be represented by an attorney in a debt collection case
- Sue collectors who violate their rights
The same law prohibits third-party debt collectors from the following practices:
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Contacting someone at work after being informed that the employer does not permit such calls
- Using profane and abusive language to frighten a debtor into paying
- Claiming that someone can be arrested and imprisoned for nonpayment of a debt
- Discussing the debt with anyone but the consumer, their spouse, their attorney, and any debt co-signers (if applicable)
Alleged Violations against Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc*
Not all debt collectors let the FDCPA limit them. Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc is a collection agency headquartered in Houston, Texas. It was established in 1993 and is a larger agency with branch offices in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, New York, New York, Los Angeles, California, and Tampa, Florida. A review of the records archived on the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc has been accused of breaching the FDCPA when dealing with indebted consumers.
In January 2015, a Michigan resident filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The following February, she got a call from Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc. The plaintiff told the collector, who identified himself as "Myron," that she had filed for bankruptcy protection and was represented by an attorney with respect to the alleged debt. She provided her attorney’s contact information, but allegedly received two more calls in March, both from the same collector.
The plaintiff finally hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting her directly after she had provided her attorney’s contact information (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2))
- Using harassing and abusive methods to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2)(a))
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
- Trying to collect an amount not permitted by law (15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers associated with Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc are 1-888-804-9000 and 1-888-961-1000. If either number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to to collect a debt from you. If they keep calling you even after you have retained an attorney and provided them with contact details, they have broken the law.
If you decide to sue Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc, you could potentially be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages, court fees, and attorney costs. When debt collectors ignore your rights, the FDCPA sends an expensive reminder.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:15-cv-00402-PLM, from United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, Southern 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 Greenberg, Grant & Richards, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.