Is Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC calling you?* Here's what you need to know.
Calls from debt collectors can add to the already-staggering stress of having financial difficulties. When those calls include abusive language, threats and intimidation, the situation can get even more intolerable, especially if you don’t know your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
If a debt collector is harassing you, they’re actually breaking federal law and can be fined or even lose their license. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits oppressive tactics like the following when used to collect a consumer debt:
- Calling you several times a day
- Telling your friends, neighbors, and co-workers that you owe money
- Pretending to be attorneys, police officers, or federal agents
- Calling you at work when they know your employer doesn’t allow you to take personal calls
- Leaving voice messages that do not identify the collector and the purpose of their call
- Swearing, yelling, and calling you names
Company Profile: Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC
Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC is a debt collection law office located in Merrick, New York. It was established in 2008, has fewer than 10 employees, and is managed by Jeff Maidenbaum. Civil litigation files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that the firm has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA during certain debt collection attempts.
Alleged Violations against Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC
Keith L. Pitman vs. Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC*
According to PACER, on December 7, 2012, Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC mailed New York resident Keith L. Pitman a collection letter that stated in the "Re" line that it concerned "Claim of Chase Manhattan Bank Usa, N.A.," and in the text that "our firm has been retained to collect the above obligation on behalf of Chase Manhattan Bank Usa, N.A.”
Years before, Chase had obtained a judgment against Mr. Pitman but the letter, which was later presented as an exhibit, did not mention any assignee of the judgment in the Chase action and appeared to give the impression that Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC was retained by Chase to collect on its behalf.
On or around December 18, 2012, Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC served what purported to be a Subpoena Duces Tecum on First Niagara Bank demanding information to be used in enforcing the judgment in the Chase Action. Mr. Pitman received the subpoena from First Niagara's counsel: it stated that a judgment was entered against Mr. Pitman and in favor of Chase, and demanded information about his bank account, among other things. Another Subpoena Duces Tecum was served on Mr. Pitman's employer, this one demanding tax records, pay stubs, benefits information, resumes, applications for employment, banking information, and date of birth.
Mr. Pitman made a motion in the Erie County Supreme Court to quash the subpoena to his employer and to prohibit Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC from engaging in further collection activity concerning the judgment in the Chase Action without first having filed the proof of assignment. The motion was granted on May 15, 2013. Mr. Pitman then hired a consumer attorney and sued the firm for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading representation in connection with the collection of a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Failing to provide a proper debt validation notice
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC is 1-516-223-4365. If you see this number on your caller ID when the phone rings, a debt collector is attempting to reach you. If they try to collect a debt without first proving that they have the authority to do so, hire a consumer attorney. If you decide to sue, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Don’t let yourself be intimidated into inaction: fighting back can pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:13-cv-00973-JTC from the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.
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 Maidenbaum & Associates, PLLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.