Is JJ Marshall & Associates, Inc. calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
You’ve been trying to make the minimum payments on your credit cards and student loans, but since you lost your job it’s been impossible. Your creditors have now turned the accounts over to a third-party collection agency that has been making your life difficult.
They may call several times a day, talk to your friends about the debt, and threaten to send the sheriff over to seize your home. Such behavior is illegal, but that may not stop the agency from harassing you daily.
Although the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires third party debt collectors to follow a strict code of ethics when trying to collect money from consumers, actions like the following generate hundreds of complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission every year.
- Contacting you at work after you tell them that your boss won’t let you take such calls
- Refusing or failing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Threatening to take you to court, garnish your wages, or have you arrested
- Swearing and yelling at you
- Demanding amounts that exceed the original debt
Alleged Violations against JJ Marshall & Associates*
Many debt collectors dismiss the FDCPA as a nuisance to be circumvented whenever possible. JJ Marshall & Associates is a debt collector located in Shelby Charter Township, Michigan. It was established in 1975, has 50 to 99 employees, and is a member of both the American Collectors Association International (ACA) and the Michigan Association of Collection Agencies (MACA).
A search of records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that JJ Marshall & Associates has been sued for allegedly violating consumer rights while trying to collect certain debts.
Andrew Sak v. JJ Marshall & Associates, Inc
In late 2005, Michigan resident Andrew Sak was contacted by JJ Marshall & Associates about an old debt he allegedly owed to Stor-N-Lock Self-Storage. He disputed it after the agency allegedly demanded an amount that exceeded the original debt. When he checked his credit report, Mr. Sak discovered that JJ Marshall & Associates had re-aged and reported the debt to three credit bureaus, and allegedly did not report it as disputed.
He responded by hiring a consumer attorney and suing JJ Marshall & Associates for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, misleading, and unfair methods to collect a debt
- Misrepresenting the amount and legal status of the debt
- Communicating credit information that it should have known to be false
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in its initial communication
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Trying to collect an amount that exceeded the original debt
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for JJ Marshall & Associates is 1-586-992-3200. If you see it on your caller ID, be aware a debt collector is trying to contact you. If they attempt to collect an obsolete debt and fail to report it to the credit bureaus as disputed, see an consumer attorney. They can deal with JJ Marshall & Associates on your behalf and help you pursue your rights in court.
You could potentially receive $1,000 per violation plus attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages, such as lost opportunities due to denial of credit. When a debt collector pushes you too far, the FDCPA gives you the resources you need to push back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:05-cv-10256-DML-CEB, from United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern 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 JJ Marshall & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.