Is Metro Portfolios, Inc. calling you?* Here’s what you need to know.
Approximately 10% of all Americans are currently being chased by debt collectors. Of these, over 100,000 consumers complain about being the target of unethical and illegal collection practices. Some are called non-stop while others are threatened with arrest, lawsuits, and other consequences.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 after a rise in consumer complaints about abusive debt collection practices. Consumers can now tell third-party debt collectors to stop contacting them and demand proof that a debt exists. The FDCPA also makes it illegal for debt collectors to pressure payments out of people by using tricks and strategies like those below:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out or have no intention of carrying out
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your employer doesn’t allow such calls
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and will be arrested if you don’t pay them right now
- Discussing your debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Company Profile: Metro Portfolios, Inc.
Metro Portfolios, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Woodbury, New York. It was established in 2002, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, David Cohen. (Mr. Cohen is also a partner in the law office of Cohen & Slamowitz.) Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that the company has been sued in the past by consumers who believed that their rights had been violated.
Alleged Violations against Metro Portfolios, Inc
Anthony Ceravolo vs. Cohen & Slamowitz et al*
According to PACER, on or about February 23, 2009, Cohen & Slamowitz and Metro Portfolios, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Anthony Ceravolo in the Syracuse City Court to collect a consumer debt. The first Cause of Action was that Mr. Ceravolo signed a contract or other document evidencing a debt to Metro Portfolios, Inc. and GE Money Bank / Sam’s Club. Mr. Ceravolo denied signing a contract or other agreement to that effect, and there was allegedly no copy of a signed contract provided in the state action.
Cohen & Slamowitz and Metro Portfolios, Inc. served the summons and complaint on Mr. Ceravolo at a Syracuse address, although he had never lived or worked in the city. In or about March 2010, they obtained a default judgment against him by claiming that he had been served at his home address, although Mr. Ceravolo denied being served process in the state action. He also denied having the social security number and date of birth associated with the alleged debt.
In or about February 2012, Mr. Ceravolo obtained a copy of his credit report. When he saw that the judgment in the state action appeared on the report, causing him to be denied a mortgage, he hired a consumer attorney and sued Cohen & Slamowitz and Metro Portfolios, Inc for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Metro Portfolios, Inc. are:
If the phone rings and you see either number on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is looking for you. If they sue you to collect a debt that is not yours, hire a consumer attorney who can help you assert your rights in court. If you sue Metro Portfolios, Inc, you could win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. The law is on your side when debt collectors cross the line, so never be too intimidated to fight back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:12-cv-04437-JS-ETB 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 Metro Portfolios, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.