Credit underscores nearly everything we do today. We use it to buy homes, cars, and other larger assets and pay it back. When misfortune strikes and we can’t pay back all that debt, collection agencies will eventually contact us to demand payment. Many of them are aggressive and rude, hoping that we won’t attempt to fight for our rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
At one time, indebted consumers were declaring personal bankruptcy purely to escape debt collector harassment. In 1977 Congress dealt with the situation by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to stop collection agencies from using methods like the following to collect or attempt to collect a debt.
- Using profane and obscene language
- Contacting you at an inconvenient or unusual time and place, such as early in the morning, late at night, or at work if you are not allowed to receive calls there
- Refusal to provide you with information about the debt
- Continuing to contact you after you have requested in writing that they stop
- Trying to collect amounts that exceed the original debt
- Contacting you if they are aware that you are being represented by an attorney
Company Profile: Meade & Associates, Inc
Meade & Associates, Inc is a debt collection company located in Lewis Center, Ohio. It was established in 1978, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its President, Brian Meade. It has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been the subject of 81 complaints in the last three years. Litigation files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that Meade & Associates, Inc has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the past.
Alleged Violations against Meade & Associates, Inc
Perry R. Silverman vs. Meade & Associates, Inc*
According to PACER, on or about February 12, 2013, Meade & Associates, Inc sent a collection letter to Ohio resident Perry Silverman demanding that he pay medical bills allegedly owed by his wife. The letter, which was later submitted as an exhibit in a court action, allegedly did not contain the required notice regarding his right to dispute the debt within 30 days. There was also allegedly no debt validation notice sent five days after the February 12 letter.
Mr. Silverman had never promised to pay his wife’s medical bills or acted as guarantor for the debt, so he hired a consumer attorney and sued Meade & Associates for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false representation or deceptive means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect a debt
- Failing to send a debt validation notice within five days of the original communication
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone numbers for Meade & Associates, Inc are:
If the phone rings and either number appears on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is attempting to contact you about debt it has purchased or been assigned. If they fail to send you a debt validation notice and try to make you responsible for someone else’s bills, hire a consumer attorney. Such actions are illegal under the FDCPA, and if the matter goes to court a judge could order Meade & Associates, Inc to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Stand up for yourself when a debt collector goes too far, and it could literally pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case: 2:13-cv-00878-GLF-EPD from the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern 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 Meade & Associates, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.