Debt collectors don’t have the best track record when it comes to obeying the law. They threaten you, yell, and send negative information to the credit bureaus. Such conduct is illegal, so if a collection agency subjects you to such treatment, you can call a consumer lawyer and fight back.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, bars all types of deceptive, unfair, and unethical debt collection practices. It was passed in 1977 to stop collection agencies from bullying people into bankruptcy, but debt collectors still abuse tactics like those below to pressure consumers into paying debts:
- Swearing at you and calling you names
- Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt
- Stating that you are guilty of committing a crime
- Placing a phone call outside the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- Communicating with you after you have obtained legal representation
- Threatening to take action that cannot legally be taken
Company Profile: M. Leonard & Associates
If you are being called by M. Leonard & Associates, more information about the agency is below.
M. Leonard & Associates is a debt collection law office in Van Nuys, California. It was founded in 1976, has 10 to 19 employees, and is managed by its Vice President, Claudia Rosenberg. Litigation records at the PACER website indicate that consumers who thought that they were being harassed by M. Leonard & Associates took legal action against the company.
Alleged Violations against M. Leonard & Associates
According to PACER, in or around mid-2009, M. Leonard & Associates started calling a California consumer to collect a medical debt. He complained that agency representatives pretended to be calling from the original creditor’s office and did not identify themselves as debt collectors.
Feeling harassed by M. Leonard & Associates, the consumer took legal action against the company for allegedly:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are:
Seeing either number on your caller ID should serve as an alert that you are being called by M. Leonard & Associates. If they try to trick you into paying, don’t be fooled. Take a stand by hiring a consumer lawyer and filing a claim against M. Leonard & Associates.
Debt collectors who violate federal law can be ordered to pay $1,000 per violation and cover your attorney fees, so take a stand when you know that you’re in the right.
You could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation, so when a debt collection law firm crosses the line, you are still protected by the FDCPA.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:09-cv-06273-R-E from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 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 M. Leonard & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.