Mistreating consumers is more than just a bad business practice: for third-party collection agencies, it’s illegal. This doesn’t stop debt collectors from harassing consumers at work, leaving aggressive and threatening voice messages, and calling them at all hours of the day and night.
If you are being bullied and threatened by a debt collector, that collector may be in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, outlines how debt collectors and the agencies that employ them- can go about collecting money from consumers. It also protects consumers by giving you the right to dispute a debt and sue collection agencies that use aggressive practices such as:
- Yelling, swearing, and using language meant to intimidate you
- Calling you at work after they’ve been advised that such calls are not allowed
- Contacting you after you have sent a cease and desist letter
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take, such as having your property seized
- Disguising the fact that they are debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
Company Profile: Jack Harris, Inc.
If you are being called by Jack Harris, Inc., information about the company and its operations are below.
Jack Harris, Inc., which also does business as JHI Collection, is a debt collection office located in Lanham, Maryland. It was established in 1966, has a small workforce of less than 10 employees, and is managed by owner Jack Harris.
Lawsuit records viewable at the PACER website indicates that consumers who felt that they were being harassed by Jack Harris, Inc. sued the company to demand statutory damages.
Alleged Violations against Jack Harris, Inc.
According to PACER, on or about July 1st, 2011, a collector for Jack Harris, Inc. allegedly called the workplace of a Maryland consumer, told the office administrative assistant that he had a “serious family emergency” and provided a contact number.
When the worried consumer called, he realized that he was dealing with a debt collector.
Collectors from Jack Harris, Inc. allegedly called again, this time speaking with the consumer’s boss and stating that they were trying to reach him about a “serious family emergency.”
This ruse resulted in the consumer being pulled out of an important business meeting to attend to the call. Two more workplace calls allegedly followed despite a direct request to stop.
In a further attempt to collect the debt, collectors allegedly threatened him with legal action that never transpired and even called his wife and told her that the reasons for nonpayment of the debt was “BS.”
The couple retained an attorney but collectors allegedly ignored the fact and continued to call the consumers directly.
Feeling harassed by Jack Harris, Inc., the consumer engaged a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating her rights in the following ways:
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Contacting the consumer directly although they were represented by an attorney
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone number for Jack Harris, Inc. is 1-301-577-2666. If you see it on your caller ID, it means that Jack Harris, Inc.is trying to collect a debt from you. If they call you at work and use abusive language when you can’t pay the debt immediately, contact a consumer lawyer immediately.
You don’t have to tolerate such abuse, so if you file a claim against Jack Harris, Inc., you may be awarded FDCPA-mandated damages of $1000 per violation. When a collection agency takes liberties with your rights, let the law help you protect them.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 8:11-cv-02204-DKC from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
*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 Jack Harris, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.