You’re receiving threatening phone calls and letters from debt collectors. It’s a stressful situation when you aren’t working or can’t afford the payments. Collection agencies are notorious for harassing consumers, but there are laws in place that can compel them to stop.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a consumer protection law designed to prevent you from being pressured and abused by third-party debt collectors. If a collection agency uses tactics like the following to make you pay, they’ve gone too far and you can take legal action.
● Threatening legal actions it has no intention of taking
● Demanding payment for a debt discharged in bankruptcy
● Collecting from you during the dispute period
● Contacting you directly when they know that you have an attorney
● Using an autodialer to call you
● Claiming that you can go to prison for not paying a debt
Company Profile: Lawal and Associates
If you are being called by Lawal and Associates, below are some additional details about the company.
Lawal and Associates is a debt collection law office in Houston, Texas. It was established in 2009, has six employees, and is managed by Otmotayo Jamin Lawal. Files at the PACER website suggest that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by Lawal and Associates demanded compensation.
Alleged Violations against Lawal and Associates*
According to information on the PACER website, on or around October 5, 2009, Lawal and Associates sent a payday loan collection letter to an Illinois consumer on behalf of a client. It threatened to “prepare and file litigation against you, if this matter is not handled on a voluntary basis.”
However, Lawal and Associates could not file suit in Illinois because it was not licensed to do so and could not file suit in Texas because to do so was prohibited by the FDCPA: the consumer did not live there and did not sign the contract related to the debt in Texas.
Feeling harassed by Lawal and Associates, she sued the firm for:
● Threatening actions it could not legally take
● Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
A judge ordered Lawal and Associates and its client to pay $3,400 in statutory damages and legal costs of $7513.44.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone number for this debt collection law firm is 1-713-773-0600. Its presence on your caller ID is confirmation that Lawal and Associates is trying to reach you. If they threaten legal action but are not even licensed to practice law in your state, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Lawal and Associates. If you win your case, you could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus your attorney fees, so don’t hesitate to show a collection agency that you mean business.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). Case: 1:09-cv-06540 from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
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 Lawal and Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.