Is Island National Group LLC calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Most people carry some form of personal debt nowadays. Some manage it well, while others get in over their heads and have a hard time keeping up with minimum payments. If they become too ill to work or lose their job for some other reason, these obligations can go into arrears and be assigned to a third-party debt collector.
In 1977 the US Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. This federal law imposes restrictions on what third-party debt collectors may and may not do while collecting or attempting to collect a debt. The following actions are illegal, and could result in heavy penalties.
- Using the phone to harass someone: for example, calling and hanging up
- Calling someone who has requested no further contact or retained an attorney regarding the debt
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors out to collect a debt
- Calling someone before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. when the consumer has not given them permission to do so
- Calling the consumer’s place of employment after being told that the employer does not allow such calls
- Yell and use obscene or abusive language
- Discuss the debt with uninvolved third parties, such as the consumer’s friends and neighbors
Alleged Violations against Island National Group LLC*
Despite the law, many debt collectors use questionable methods to collect debt payments. Island National Group LLC, a collection agency located in Syosset, New York, was established in 2004 and collects all types of consumer debt. A search of the digitized records held by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Island National Group has been sued several times by frustrated consumers.
Rodney Preval v. Fingerhut Credit Advantage and Island National Group, LLC
In October 2005 Rodney Preval, an Ohio resident, filed a Chapter 7 petition for bankruptcy. One of the creditors listed on his schedule was Fingerhut Credit Advantage, which was notified of the bankruptcy filing like the other creditors. The deadline to object to Mr. Preval’s discharge was stated on the Notice, but no one objected.
After he was discharged in March 2006, Fingerhut Credit Advantage was allegedly served with a copy of the Order and Discharge. This Notice stated clearly in large bold letters that the debts were discharged by the Bankruptcy Code.
Notwithstanding the first notice of the commencement of the bankruptcy case and the second notice informing all creditors that their debts were discharged, Island National Group LLC began sending Mr. Preval invoices and bill collection notices and attempting to collect on behalf of Fingerhut Credit Advantage. The contact continued even though Mr. Preval’s attorney sent a cease communications notice, and Island National Group LLC collectors allegedly threatened to sue him for nonpayment.
The complaint accused Island National Group LLC of the following FDCPA violations:
- Communicating with Mr. Preval after receiving a direction to cease communications via his attorney (15 U.S.C. 1692c(c))
- Threatening to sue him when they knew, or should have known, that they had no legal authority to do so (15 U.S.C. 1692e)
The matter was later resolved.
The phone number for Island National Group LLC is 1-516-682-4300. If you see this number on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt you allegedly owe. If the obligation was recently discharged by a bankruptcy and they persist in trying to collect from you, see a consumer attorney. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from pursuing an invalid debt, and you could receive damages of $1000 per FDCPA violation if you take the matter to court and win. Know your rights as a consumer, and be prepared to use them.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 7:2006cv04019, from United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Western 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 Island National Group LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.