Is Hilco Receivables, LLC calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Passed by the US Congress in 1977, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a consumer safeguard against abusive and unethical debt collection practices. It allows consumers to legally dispute debts, demand verification of the amount owed, and request no further contact from the debt collector.
Before the FDCPA became law, debt collectors were routinely harassing and intimidating people who owed money, and the result was impaired physical and mental health, broken marriages, and decreased enjoyment of life. Now such behavior can incur severe financial penalties: $1000 per incident, as well as court costs and attorney fees incurred by the consumer.
Under the FDCPA, it is illegal for debt collections to do any of the following
- Call at unreasonable / inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Call someone at work when they have reason to know that such calls are not allowed
- Threatening to have a person arrested or imprisoned for nonpayment
- Using profane or obscene language
- Claiming to be police officers or federal agents
- Disclosing the existence of the debt to anyone except the debtor, their spouse, attorney, or co-signers
Alleged Violations against Hilco Receivables, LLC*
Unfortunately, the fact that certain actions are illegal does not stop debt collectors from doing them, especially if their chances of getting money are improved.
Hilco Receivables, LLC is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois and specializes in junk debt purchases. It was established in 2000 and employs a staff of approximately 220. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that the company has been sued on several occasions by frustrated and harassed consumers who felt that their rights were being disregarded.
In 2009 a Texas consumer filed a class action lawsuit against Hilco Receivables, LLC. The company had tried to collect the defaulted remaining payments on an automobile contract acquired from Wells Fargo, but the consumer asserted that under Texas Finance Code § 348.501, a person may not be a holder of a retail installment contract unless the person: (1) is an authorized lender or a credit union; or (2) holds a license issued under Chapter 348.
Hilco Receivables, LLC was not an authorized lender or a credit union and didn’t hold a license under Texas Finance Code Ch. 348. Therefore, the consumer insisted, Hilco was not entitled to collect on the motor vehicle retail installment contracts. He also accused the company of misrepresenting through demand letters and lawsuits that this debt and others like them were owed to Hilco.
The complaint accused Hilco Receivables, LLC of the following FDCPA violations:
- Falsely representing that the debt was owed to Hilco, when Hilco was barred by law from being a holder of the debt because they did not hold the proper license (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Representing that that the debt was owed to Hilco, when Hilco was barred by law from being a holder of the debt, constituted an unfair and/or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
The matter was later settled.
The phone number for Hilco Receivables, LLC is 1-847-509-1100. If this number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you to settle a debt. If they cannot prove that they are legally empowered to collect from you, or you have reason to believe that they are not authorized to do business in your state, contact a consumer attorney with experience in FDCPA matters. Should you take Hilco to court and win, you could receive $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:09-cv-00897-M, from United States District Court for the Northern District, Dallas 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 Hilco Receivables, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.