Is Joseph, Mann & Creed calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Debt is a common part of today’s society. There are few adult Americans who don’t have a mortgage, credit card, student loan, medical bill, or some other financial obligation they are working to pay off. But what happens when someone can’t keep up with the payments due to job loss, illness, or a similar setback? Most times, the account is turned over to third-party debt collectors, who will call and send letters to the consumer in an attempt to settle the debt.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits collection agents from using abusive or deceptive tactics to get money from consumers. In general, they may not do any of the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Yell, swear, or threaten someone
- Warn a consumer that they can be arrested or imprisoned if they do not pay
- Fail or refuse to identify themselves as debt collectors looking to settle a debt
- Call at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Call someone at their place of employment after being told that the employer does not allow such calls
- Keep contacting someone who has made a formal request to cease communications
- Contact someone after receiving a formal request to cease communications
- Discuss the debt with anyone except the consumer, their spouse, or attorney
Alleged Violations against Joseph, Mann & Creed*
Not every debt collector plays by the rules. Joseph, Mann & Creed is a debt collection agency located in Twinsburg, Ohio. Established in 2000, its employee count falls in the 50 to 99 range. According to records held by PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), this particular debt collector has frequently been sued by consumers who felt that their rights were infringed upon during the collection process.
Gary Neus v. Media Collections, Inc d/b/a Joseph, Mann & Creed
In February 2009, Pennsylvania resident Gary Neus started receiving calls from debt collectors working for Joseph, Mann & Creed about an alleged debt owed for an NSF charge. He later claimed he was told by one agent that he could not dispute this debt without a police report. During the same conversation, which took place on February 23, 2009, the collector, who identified herself as Linda Simpson, allegedly told Mr. Neus that he was a deadbeat who could not pay his bills.
On February 25, 2009 Mr. Neus requested validation of the debt. Two days later, on February 27, a Joseph, Mann & Creed representative confirmed receipt of the validation request. On March 16, 2009 he contacted the agency again and asked for the status of validation, at which time the agent allegedly stated, “Why should I waste my time since you’re not going to pay the debt?” Mr. Neus said that he never did receive validation of the debt.
In the complaint he filed with the US District Court, Mr. Neus and his attorney claimed that the collection notice was misleading by stating “should you choose to voluntarily pay this obligation”, which implied that there could be consequences if the he did not pay the debt.
The complaint accused Joseph, Mann & Creed of acting in a false and deceptive manner that oppressed and abused Mr. Neus, particularly by threatening to take action that it did not intend to take for the purpose of coercing him to pay the debt. These alleged acts constituted violations of the FDCPA, including, but not limited to, violations of §§ 1692c(a)(1), d, d(3), d(5), e, f, and g.
The matter was later settled.
If you receive a call from 1-216-831-5626 a debt collector from the office of Joseph, Mann & Creed is attempting to collect a debt from you. If they speak to you in a demeaning manner and imply that you have no choice but to pay the debt, schedule a consultation with a consumer attorney.
Such hostile and deceptive behavior is illegal under the FDCPA, and a skilled attorney can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. Although some debt collectors like to think otherwise, owing money does not leave you open to insults and mistreatment. The penalty for acting otherwise is up to $1000 per incident.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:09-cv-00727-YK, from United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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 Joseph, Mann & Creed or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.