When debt collectors have you afraid to answer the phone, the result can be missed calls from relatives, friends, and even job opportunities. When you do occasionally answer, most of the time you’re confronted by that debt collector you’ve been avoiding.
Fortunately, there are laws to protect consumers from abusive debt phone calls and other hostile collection tactics.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) provides indebted consumers with legal protection from harassing and aggressive third-party debt collectors, and allows for compensation for you when collection agencies cross the line and subject you to the following collection tactics.
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in each communication
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take or have no intention of taking
- Using profane and obscene language
- Calling you several times per day using an autodialer
- Threatening harm to your person, property, and / or credit rating
Company Profile: Marel Associates
If you are being called by Marel Associates, information about the company and its operations are below.
Marel Associates is a debt collection office located in Flushing, New York.. It opened for business in 1975, has approximately 15 employees, and is managed by its CEO, Theodore Lee.
A close examination of litigation records at the PACER website confirms that consumers who felt harassed by Marel Associates hired legal counsel went to court to bring the unwanted letters and phone calls to an end.
Alleged Violations against Marel Associates
According to PACER, on June 6, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. Marel Associates called the ex-wife of a New York consumer to collect a debt. The call was unanswered, and no message was left on the answering machine.
Another call took place on June 14, 2016, at 9:37 a.m., when a collector who identified himself as “Mr. Vera,” told the consumer’s ex-wife that he was calling from “North Shore Infectious Disease” regarding a $900.00 debt.
More calls allegedly followed. On July 7, “Mr. Vera” allegedly told the consumer’s ex-wife that he was calling from “a doctor’s office.” He allegedly asked her about her former husband’s debt and warned her that he “won’t just go away” and “won’t be ignored.”
Feeling harassed by Marel Associates, the consumer hired a consumer lawyer and sued the agency for violating his rights in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to send a debt validation notice
- Using abusive and harassing means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later resolved.
Hire a Lawyer
The phone numbers for Marel Associates are:
If you ever see either one on your caller ID when the phone rings, Marel Associates is trying to reach you. If collectors use aggressive or abusive language with you or members of your family, contact a consumer lawyer immediately.
Such egregious behavior violates the FDCPA, and if you file a claim against Marel Associates, you may be able to recover $1000 per FDCPA violation in addition to attorney’s fees, court costs, and damages suffered as a result of the collector’s actions.
If a debt collector violates your rights, working with a consumer lawyer can help you obtain compensation.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:16-cv-04022-LDW-SIL 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 Marel Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.