Is Levy and Associates calling you?* Here's what you need to know.
Every year, the Federal Trade Commission receives an avalanche of complaints about ruthless debt collectors taking their duties too far. If you are being hounded by a collection agency day and night, understand that you don’t have to tolerate it. You have rights as an indebted consumer.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect indebted consumers from abusive collectors. The FDCPA grants you the right to dispute a debt and tell the collection agency to stop calling you. It also penalizes debt collectors who use unethical tactics like the following:
- Using profane and abusive language
- Calling you repeatedly and leaving messages that do not identify them as debt collectors
- Demanding outrageous ‘fees’ in addition to the original debt
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents
- 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
Company Profile: Levy and Associates
Levy and Associates is a debt collection law office headquartered in Columbus, Ohio with branch offices in Silver Spring, Maryland and Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was established in 1995 and is managed by its owner, Yale R Levy. Files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Levy and Associates has been accused of violating the FDCPA during its years in business.
Alleged Violations against Levy and Associates
Cathleen Bryant vs. Recovery One et al*
According to PACER, in or around 2006 or 2007, North Carolina resident Cathleen Bryant incurred a debt to LCA Lasik Plus. In April 2007 the debt was placed with an agency called Recovery One for collection. Recovery One allegedly increased the amount of the original debt by $80 to include "fees" that were never included in the statement of account from LCA. Information concerning the debt was also placed on her credit file, with her attempts at disputing it allegedly going unreported.
The debt was placed with Levy and Associates in or around May 2008. When Ms. Bryant requested validation of both the debt and the firm’s right to collect it, there was allegedly no response. She finally sued the firm and other entities involved in the collection case for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Attempting to collect amounts not authorized by law
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in collecting on a debt.
- Falsely representing the character, amount, or legal status of the alleged debt
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Levy and Associates are:
If you see any of these numbers on your caller ID when the phone rings, a debt collector is trying to contact you. If they refuse to validate the debt and keep reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus, hire a consumer attorney. If you decide to assert your rights by suing Levy and Associates, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Fighting back when you know you are right can literally pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 5:09-cv-00096-F from the United States District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Western 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 Levy and Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.