Every time the phone rings, you worry that it’s the debt collection agency calling again. You don’t want to talk to them, because they verbally abuse you and you can’t afford to pay what they’re demanding. Can you do anything to make them stop?
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires debt collectors to be professional and treat you with respect. It also prohibits them from actions like the following when collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Using profane and obscene language
- Disguising the fact that they are a debt collector
- Contacting you at work after being advised that you are not allowed to talk to them there
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and could go to jail
- Demanding amounts that are not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents
Company Profile: Hauge Associates, Inc.
If you are being called by Hauge Associates, Inc., information about the company is below.
Hauge Associates, Inc. is a debt collection company located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was established in 2008, has approximately 35 employees, and is managed by its President, James F. Tripp. Civil litigation records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Hauge Associates, Inc., turned to the courts for justice.
Alleged Violations against Hauge Associates, Inc.
Scott T. Wheeler and Michelle N. Wheeler vs. Hauge Associates, Inc. et al*
According to PACER, on June 23, 2014 Hauge Associates, Inc. filed a lawsuit against two married Iowa consumers to collect the balance of a debt that the consumers could no longer afford to keep paying. It demanded $1130.04 plus court costs. When a hearing took place on October 14, the consumers produced evidence of past payments to prove that the actual balance was $923.80. The Court subsequently entered an order allowing them to repay that amount at $61.50 every month commencing in December.
Despite this order, during the first week of November, 2014, the consumers received a collection letter demanding $1050.77 and stating in part:
Recently you were notified that our office was awarded judgment against you covering the above indebtedness. Since this matter has not been paid,we are providing notice to you that execution procedures on this judgment may now be implemented.
Feeling harassed by Hauge Associates, Inc., the consumers hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Misrepresented the character, amount, or legal status of a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Creditor Harassment Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see either number on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Hauge Associates, Inc.. If they demand more than you actually owe and threaten consequences if you don’t pay, hire a consumer attorney.
If you file a claim against Hauge Associates, Inc. and a judge rules in your favor, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. No matter how much money you owe, debt collectors are legally obliged to follow certain guidelines when collecting it, or else face this type of consequence.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 4:14-cv-00466-JEG-HCA from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Central 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 Hauge Associates, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.