When you lose your job, routine debt can spiral out of control and you may eventually deal with debt collectors. These companies are notorious for trying to threaten people into paying, but don’t be intimidated. If a collection agency abuses you in any way, they are breaking the law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you legally from harassment and bullying by third-party collection agencies. When a debt collector goes too far and subjects you to the following mistreatment, they could end up having to compensate you substantially.
● Making phone calls with a frequency that is intended to harass you
● Adding charges or fees not authorized by the original agreement
● Misrepresenting the amount, nature, or origin of a debt
● Telling you that you have broken the law and can go to prison
● Threatening consequences they have no intention of carrying out
● Persisting in trying to collect a disputed debt
Company Profile: Marshall & Ziolkowski
If you are being called by Marshall & Ziolkowski, an overview of the company and its background is below.
Marshall & Ziolkowski, which also does business as Mercer and Ziokoski, is a debt collection agency in Amherst, New York. It was established in 2005, has fewer than 10 employees, and is managed by Joseph Strauss. PACER website records include litigation files confirming that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by Marshall & Ziolkowski took legal action against the company.
Alleged Violations against Marshall & Ziolkowski*
According to information on the PACER website, in or around November 13, 2006, Marshall & Ziolkowski attempted to collect a debt by calling an Arizona consumer and leaving a voice message. The caller allegedly stated that the agency was going to file a “criminal action” for conspiracy to commit fraud and other “civil actions” against the consumer and her husband.
Minutes after leaving this voice mail message, the collector called the husband’s cell phone and asked to speak to the wife. This party allegedly implied that they were with an attorney’s office and were in the process of filing criminal charges for fraud as well as a civil lawsuit.
This conversation was allegedly followed by a third phone call. The husband told the caller that the statute of limitations for the debt had expired and ordered them to stop calling. The collector allegedly called him “stupid” and referred to him and his wife as “deadbeats, liars and con artists” as well as “jerks who wouldn’t pay their bills.”
Feeling harassed by Marshall & Ziolkowski, the consumers sued the company for:
● Using profane and obscene language
● Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt
● Threatening action that could not legally be taken
● Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
● Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
● Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are:
If they appear on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Marshall & Ziolkowski. If they pretend to be attorneys and verbally abuse you when you call them on it, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Marshall & Ziolkowski. Debt collectors found guilty of violating the FDCPA can be ordered to pay $1,000 per incident in addition to the plaintiff’s legal bills. You have nothing to lose when it comes to protecting your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). Case 3:07-cv-00279-JAT from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
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 Marshall & Ziolkowski. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.