People fall into serious debt for reasons that have nothing to do with financial irresponsibility. They lose their jobs, become too sick to work, or are suddenly sued for divorce and forced to spend their money on litigation fees. Unfortunately, the debt collectors assigned to collect their overdue accounts often mistreat them, ignoring the fact that indebted consumers have rights under the law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in September 1977 to prevent third-party debt collectors from harassing consumers about their delinquent accounts. Forty years later this consumer protection law still prohibits hostile and deceptive collection tactics like the following:
- Ignoring a formal cease communications request
- Swearing and calling you names
- Calling at all hours of the day and night
- Claiming that you have committed a crime and threatening to call the police on you if you don’t pay
- Threatening to ruin your credit forever
- Pretending to be lawyers or federal agents
Company Profile: Locate Services, LLC
Locate Services, LLC is a debt collection company located in Gahanna, Ohio. It was established in 2011, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by owner Rick Shell. According to the company website, Locate Services, LLC purchases debt in several states and proceeds to collect on it. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that the company has been accused of debt collection practices that violate the FDCPA.
Alleged Violations against Locate Services, LLC
Stephen B. Ditto vs. Locate Services, LLC*
According to PACER, or about June 13, 2007, Locate Services, LLC left a voice message for Georgia resident Stephen B. Ditto, who later complained that the caller did not state that the communication was from a debt collector attempting to collect a debt. Instead, the Locate Services, LLC employee allegedly identified himself as Chris Welsh in the "Pre-Legal division."
Mr. Welsh allegedly stated that the case had been forwarded to him for review and asked Mr. Ditto to return his call before the matter escalated. When Mr. Ditto realized that he was actually dealing with a collection agency, he hired a consumer attorney and sued Locate Services, LLC for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false representation or deceptive means to collect a debt
- Threatening to take action that was not intended to be taken
- Failure to disclose that the communication was from a debt collector
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone number for Locate Services, LLC is 1-888-665-0750. If the phone rings and this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to reach you. If they imply that you are going to be sued but no lawsuit transpires, hire a consumer attorney. Threatening consumers with nonexistent litigation is against the law, and if you decide to sue, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. When your rights are violated, it pays to fight back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:07-cv-02005-WBH from the United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Gainesville 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 Locate Services, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.