Called By Michael & Associates? Here's What You Need to Know*
When a debt collector contacts you, they will often demand immediate payment and become hostile if you can’t or won’t pay. There’s nothing illegal about collecting a legitimate debt, but if a collector resorts to verbal abuse and baseless threats, they break federal law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA in 1977. This federal law made it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use methods like those below to obtain debt payments.
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take, such as having your property seized
- Revealing details about the debt to anyone but you, your spouse, attorney, and co-signers.
- Telling you that you can be arrested and imprisoned if you do not pay
- Contacting you directly even after you’ve hired an attorney to represent you in the matter
- Disguising the fact that they are debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
Company Profile: Michael & Associates
If you are being called by Michael & Associates, here are some additional company details.
Michael & Associates is a debt collection law office in Thousands Oaks, California. It was established in 2004, has 45 employees, and is managed by its President & CEO, Lina M. Michael. The PACER website holds archived legal records confirming that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by Michael & Associates took steps to protect their rights.
Alleged Violations against Michael & Associates*
According to information on the PACER website, in or around December 7, 2011, the Law Office of Michael & Associates tried to collect an overdue credit card debt from a California consumer by filing a lawsuit in the County of Monterey. She asserted that she did not reside in that county and had not lived there when she entered into the original contract.
Feeling harassed by Michael & Associates, the consumer engaged a consumer lawyer and sued the firm for filing a collection action against her in an area where she did not reside.
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection law office are:
If either number flashes on your caller ID, it means that Michael & Associates is trying to reach you about an alleged obligation. If they file a collection action against you in a remote location, making it difficult for you to defend yourself, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Michael & Associates. You could receive $1,000 per violation plus reasonable legal costs. If a collection agency harasses you, learn more about your rights and fight for them.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:13-cv-00011-LAB-KSC from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
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 Michael & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.