Are you being called by Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc.?* Here's what you need to know
We get ourselves into debt to buy homes, automobiles and other high-priced items, but as long as our income is regular, repayment is rarely a problem. If we run into financial problems and can’t pay back all that debt, debt collectors will start harassing us for payment. Many of them are take things too far, hoping that we won’t attempt to fight for our rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which was designed to combat abusive conduct on the part of third-party collection agencies. This consumer protection law made it illegal to use methods like the following to collect a debt:
- Raising their voice and making threats they have no intention of following up on
- Refusing to prove that a debt is valid and they are authorized to collect it
- Threatening to damage your reputation and credit rating
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Demanding amounts that exceed the amount of the original debt
Company Profile: Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc.
If you are being called by Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc., information about the company is below.
Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc. is a debt collection office located in Sarasota, Florida. It was established in 1970, has approximately 38 employees, and is managed by its President, Jack W. Brown II. According to the company website, it is a PPMS certified agency through ACA international, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals. The Better Business Bureau has given it a rating of C+. Litigation records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc. hired their own attorneys to fight back.
Alleged Violations against Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc.
According to PACER, in or around late 2015 or early 2016 Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc. started contacting a Florida resident to collect a medical debt. The plaintiff insisted that she had been treated for a work-related injury that was covered by worker’s compensation, making the debt invalid.
Feeling harassed by Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc., the plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and sued the firm for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection firm are:
If you see any of them on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc.. If they try to collect a debt that you don’t legally owe, hire a consumer attorney. Bullying consumers is prohibited under the FDCPA, and if you file a claim against Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc. and win, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never assume that because you owe money a debt collector is free to take advantage of you. The law states otherwise.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 8:16-cv-01919-CEH-MAP from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Gulf Coast Collections Bureau, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.