Is Lineage Group Inc Calling You? Find out how to stop them!
Because American culture is driven by credit, most of us carry some amount of personal debt: credit card balances, student loans, a mortgage.
These obligations are easy to honor as long as we have steady employment, but if we lose our jobs or become too ill to work, accounts eventually go into default and debt collectors start contacting us.
Some are willing to accept an affordable payment plan while others commit outright harassment, which is 100% illegal under the FDCPA.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Prior to 1977, abusive debt collectors were driving scores of Americans to personal bankruptcy. Congress responded by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, which prohibits third-party debt collectors from using methods like the following to pressure you into paying:
- Calling you at inconvenient times and places, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Cursing, raising their voice, and calling you names
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Using constant phone calls to annoy or harass you
- Demanding amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Alleged Violations against Lineage Group Inc*
Lineage Group Inc is a collection agency located in Hamburg, New York. It was founded in 2000, has approximately 20 employees, and is managed by its President, Denise Near.
Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Lineage Group Inc has been accused of violating consumer rights during the debt collection process.
Donna Baggett vs. Lineage Group Inc et al
On September 23, 2013 Illinois resident Donna Baggett received the following voicemail:
How are we doing today? This is (inaudible) contacting you regarding Macon County Courts for Defendant Donna Bagget.
Um. Ms. Bagget, I’m contacting you today in reference to an affidavit pertained from Land of Lincoln Credit Union about you writing a bad check that was remitted to my client that is set to be processed under Illinois state statute.
It is in your best interests to contact the filing party before any summons is serviced out to listed address [address omitted]. A licensed server will be in your out in that jurisdiction between the hours of 3 and 5 today to begin the proceedings. I do recommend you contact the filing party to review the allegations. 855-209-4989. Thank you. Best of luck.
When Ms. Baggett phoned, the collector allegedly threatened to proceed with legal action against her unless she agreed to pay the debt. Frightened, she provided her bank account information, which the collector used to withdraw $200 from her bank account.
When Ms. Baggett realized that there was no court case pending against her, she hired a consumer attorney and sued Lineage Group Inc for violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Threatening to take action that could not be legally taken at the time and was not intended to be taken
- Falsely implying that she had committed a crime by not paying the debt
- Engaging in unfair and/or unconscionable means to collect, or attempt to collect, a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Lineage Group Inc are:
If these numbers appear on your caller ID when the phone rings, a debt collector may be trying to reach you. If they falsely imply that legal action is pending against you and will proceed if you don’t pay the debt immediately, hire an attorney.
Such blatant abuse of an indebted consumer is illegal under the FDCPA, and if you sue the agency you could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
The law grants you certain protections as an indebted consumer, so do not hesitate to use them.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:13-cv-00190-MMH-MCR from 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 construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Lineage Group Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.