Is Malen & Associates, PC Calling You? Here's What You Need to Know
When they get you on the phone, debt collectors have one thing in mind: getting your money now. And many of them don’t mind breaking the law to do it. Remember, though, that as a consumer you don’t have to tolerate abuse. Fight back by standing up for yourself and, if necessary, using the law to do so.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect indebted consumers from third-party debt collectors who routinely pushed people to the point of bankruptcy. The FDCPA imposes strict limits on what collection agencies can do to collect a debt and prohibits actions like the following:
- Swearing and calling names
- Harassing you by telephone (e.g. calling and hanging up)
- Calling you at work if they know what such calls are not allowed
- Disguising the fact that they are debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Claiming that you can be arrested, have your assets seized, or have your wages garnished if they do not pay
Company Profile: Malen & Associates, PC
Malen & Associates, PC is a debt collection law office located in Westbury, New York. It was established in 1972, has fewer than 10 employees, and is managed by Dennis Malen. A review of online consumer complaint boards and records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that Malen & Associates, PC has been accused of illegal debt collection practices.
Alleged Violations against Malen & Associates, PC
Marcos Suriel vs. Malen & Associates, PC*
According to PACER, On or about late 2009, debt collectors Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC filed a lawsuit against New York resident Marcos Suriel in the Supreme Court of New York, which was allegedly improperly served upon Mr. Suriel improperly. In January 2010 Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC obtained a default judgment against Mr. Suriel who, unaware of the notice to appear, was not present at court. When Mr. Suriel was made aware of the judgment, in or around February 2010, he succeeded in having it dismissed on the grounds that service of process had not been properly completed.
On or about April, 2013, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC and Malen & Associates, PC resumed efforts to collect the original debt. Malen & Associates, PC allegedly began collection efforts by sending Mr. Suriel a letter ordering him to pay $4,000.00 in $50.00 installments beginning on or before May 30, 2013. The letter referred to him as a ‘defendant’, which implied a legal process was in place.
On May 22, 2013, Mr. Suriel’s representative called Malen & Associates, PC and spoke with a “Leila Leonard” about the letter and stipulation. Ms. Leonard allegedly said, ““We’re looking to try and settle this matter outside of court, that’s what we want to do at this point.” She also allegedly stated that the settlement terms were based upon an earlier agreement that Mr. Suriel had made with Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC.
Mr. Suriel, who claimed he had never reached such an agreement, hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against Malen & Associates, PC 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
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Malen & Associates, PC are:
If you see either of these numbers on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that a debt collector is on the line and trying to contact you about an alleged debt.. If they try to force you to sign a ‘settlement agreement’ by implying that it is part of a court process, hire a consumer attorney. If you decide to sue Malen & Associates, PC, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Even if they are a law firm, debt collectors have to obey rules when collecting consumer debts, or face consequences.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:14-cv-01495-JFB-ARL from the United States District Court for the Eastern 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 Malen & Associates, PC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.