Is Leland Scott & Associates Inc. calling you? Here's what you need to know.
If debt collectors are harassing you, you’re not alone. According to a 2014 study from the new Urban Institute, approximately one in three Americans were so far behind on some of their debt payments that their accounts were put in collections. These debts included car loans, medical bills, credit card bills, and even parking tickets, and amounts ranged from $125,000 to a mere $25.
The debt collectors hired to collect these outstanding balances are not always professional and ethical in their approach. Every year the Federal Trade Commission receives thousands of complaints about collection agencies using tactics like the following to pressure consumers into paying:
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Calling you at work when they know your employer doesn’t allow you to take personal calls
- Discussing the debt with your family, friends, and co-workers
- Swearing, raising their voice, and making threats they have no intention of carrying out
- Leaving voice messages that do not identify the collector and the purpose of their call
- Calling you a criminal and threatening to have you arrested.
Alleged Violations against Leland Scott & Associates Inc*
These actions and others like them are illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, but that doesn’t stop debt collectors from using them to bully consumers.
Leland Scott & Associates Inc is a collection agency located in Arlington, Texas. It was established in 1990, has approximately 45 employees, and collects all types of consumer debt. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Leland Scott & Associates Inc has appeared in court on several occasions to respond to allegations of improper and illegal debt collection practices.
Chester R. Flagg vs. Leland Scott & Associates Inc
In June and July 2006, Massachusetts resident Chester Flagg received collection letters from Leland Scott & Associates Inc about a debt incurred by his girlfriend, Jennifer. She had written two checks on his account without his knowledge, and both had bounced. The letters from the agency demanded that he pay the outstanding amount plus an additional $30 for reasons that were not specified.
Mr. Flagg responded to the demand by launching a class action lawsuit that accused Leland Scott & Associates Inc. of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Demanding an amount not supported by law or an original creditor agreement
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to send him a debt validation notice within five days of the first communication
The class action was aimed at those who had received demand letters including the $30 fee.
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Leland Scott & Associates is 1-817-465-5050. If it appears on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is collect a debt that someone else may have incurred in your name. If they apply superfluous surcharges and fail to send you a debt validation notice, contact a consumer attorney.
These demands and omissions are illegal under the FDCPA, and your attorney will help you assert your rights in court. You could win $1,000 per violation plus attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. No debt collector can act like they are above the law, and if you fight back, they could end up in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:06-cv-40222-FDS, from United States District Court, District of Massachusetts.
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 Leland Scott & Associates Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.