Are you being called by Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.?* Here's what you need to know.
If your credit card bills go into arrears because you were laid off and you’re unable to find another job, debt collectors will soon be calling. Some of them freely use intimidation and threats, counting on the probability that you are unaware of your rights as an indebted consumer.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Years ago many people were declaring bankruptcy to escape aggressive debt collectors that Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA in 1977. This federal law made it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use methods like those below to obtain debt payments.
- Calling at all hours of the day and night
- Calling you at work after you tell them that you can’t take personal calls there
- Discussing the debt with uninvolved third parties like your friends, family and neighbors
- Using profane and obscene language
- Contacting you after you have sent a cease and desist letter
- Contacting you directly after you retain an attorney
Company Profile: Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.
If you are being called by Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc., information about the company is below.
Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc., which also does business as Vocational Recovery Solutions and Apex Receivables Management is a debt collection company located in Richardson, Texas
It was established in 2004, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its owner, John Hickman. A close review of litigation records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveals that consumers who felt they were being harassed by Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc. reacted to the perceived abuse by filing lawsuits.
Alleged Violations against Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.
Timothy Lange vs. Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.*
According to PACER, on or about November 20, 2010, Michigan resident Timothy Lange received a call from a Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc. collector who demanded $6,125. When he said he couldn’t pay because he was unemployed, the caller allegedly replied that the agency was aware that he was receiving student loans and that if he did not pay the debt these loans would be frozen and he would be unable to access them. His federal tax return would also be frozen.
On or about December 17, 2010, an agency representative who identified himself as Drew Smith, left a voicemail stating that he was “calling regarding the claim that was due to be filed at the County Clerk’s Office” and required either Mr. Lange or his attorney to contact him immediately.
When Mr. Lange returned the call, Mr. Smith allegedly told him that he now owed $7,656, and attributed the higher amount to fees and for the processing of paperwork relative to his account. During this conversation, Mr. Smith allegedly asked him “why do you not own up to the fact that you owe this money?” before hanging up.
Feeling harassed by Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc., Mr. Lange hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Falsely represented the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
- Threatened to take action that cannot legally or is not intended to be taken
- Failing to send a debt validation letter
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are as follows:
If any of them flash on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.. If they use demeaning and abusive language when you are unable to pay and threaten a baseless lawsuit, contact a consumer attorney who can help you file a claim against Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery. If you win, you could potentially receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus reasonable legal costs. Don’t let yourself be pushed around when fighting back can pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:11-cv-10630-AC-RSW from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
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 Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.