Is J Wilson & Associates calling you? Here's What You Need to Know
Debt collectors can be overzealous when trying to collect delinquent debts from consumers. They call you at inconvenient times, contact your friends and family, and become hostile when you refuse to provide your checking account details to settle a debt you can’t afford.
Prior to 1977, their collection tactics were so flagrantly abusive that Congress stepped in and passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to regulate their actions and provide consumers with certain rights, such as the right to dispute the debt and tell the collector not to call back.
The FDCPA, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, places restrictions on what a debt collector can say or do when contacting you to settle a debt.
Tactics like those below are illegal and can incur costly fines for the agency.
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using profane and abusive language
- Calling you at work after being informed that your boss does not permit such calls
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking, such as having you arrested or garnishing your wages
- Discuss the debt with anyone except the you, your attorney, spouse, or co-signer
- Contacting you for payment after you have formally disputed the debt
Alleged Violations against J Wilson & Associates*
Some debt collectors keeping crossing the line regardless of the law. J Wilson & Associates is a law office and debt collector located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was established in 2003, has a small staff of under 10 employees, and collects debt all over the country.
According to the court records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, J Wilson & Associates has been sued by consumers who felt that their rights were being infringed upon during collection attempts.
Victoria I. Arancibia v. J Wilson & Associates et al
In September 2005, California resident Victoria Arancibia received a collection letter from J Wilson and Associates, which was representing a collection agency called Bobby Grich Enterprises. It demanded payment for a Household Bank debt she had allegedly defaulted on and contained a settlement offer of $2,500 for the original $3,680.
She accepted, and paid the amount requested before the end of the month.
As far as she was concerned, that ended the matter.
To her surprise, Ms. Arancibia soon received a letter from another collection agency, Persolve LLC. It demanded nearly $6,000 for the same debt, and allegedly persisted in trying to collect.
Ms. Arancibia hired a consumer attorney and sued J Wilson and Associates, along with Grich and Persolve, for using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt.
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for J Wilson & Associates are 1-866-425-5005 and 1-978-474-4242.
If you see either one on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is trying to contact you. If you settle the debt with them only to have another collection agency contact you about the same debt, see a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA prohibits deceptive and misleading debt collection methods, and if you sue J Wilson & Associates with your attorney’s assistance, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation plus attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
When debt collectors become so eager to get your money that they forget the law, the FDCPA enables you to seek the compensation you deserve.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:07-cv-01325-H-NLS, from United States District Court, Southern District of California.
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 J Wilson & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.