Many debt collectors employ harassing tactics to coerce debtors into making payments. These methods include calling nonstop and at inappropriate times, telling the debtor’s friends, family, and coworkers about the debt, and making threats. Some consumers are so intimidated by such behavior that they pay up simply to make the abuse stop.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the manner in which third-party debt collectors such as collection agencies may contact you about unpaid debts. Under this federal law, a debt collector is required to:
- Refrain from using threats and other forms of illegal conduct to try and make you pay up
- Identify themselves as debt collectors: they cannot claim to be attorneys or law enforcement
- Avoid obscene and aggressive language
- Refrain from calling you at odd hours or speed-dialling to harass you
- Discuss the debt only with you, your attorney, or possibly your spouse
- Send any correspondence in a sealed envelope that does not disclose any debt information
- Stop contacting you if you request them to stop or tell them you now have an attorney
- Refrain from contacting you at work if your employer does not permit such calls
Alleged Violations against National Credit Adjusters LLC*
National Credit Adjusters LLC (NAC) is a collection agency located in Hutchinson, Kansas. its employee count varies between 10 and 20, , according to its ZoomInfo profile. Since 2001, the company has specialized in collecting overdue debts from consumers. A search of Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) reveals that several lawsuits have been filed against NAC for allegedly violating FDCPA laws.
Orban v. National Credit Adjusters, LLC
In 2009 a Colorado resident received several calls and voice messages from National Credit Adjusters asking about a debt that belonged to someone else. She told them that she was not the person that they were looking for and to stop contacting her. The calls, however, continued, many of them automated ones that left prerecorded voice messages on her cell phone.
Feeling harassed, the plaintiff filed suit. In the complaint filed in the US District Court, District of Colorado, her attorney noted:
- The Defendant and its representatives, employees and / or agents statements and actions constitute unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect a debt and violate FDCPA 1692f preface and f(1).
- The Defendant’s statements and actions as well as that of its representatives, employees and / or agents were attempts to frighten, harass and abuse the Plaintiff into paying another person’s alleged debt.
The matter was later settled.
What to do if you get ‘the call’
If you receive a call from 1-888-768-0674, 1-720-216-2845, or 1-620-728-0100, someone from National Credit Adjusters is trying to contact you about an alleged debt. When you speak to them, request information about the debt, which they are legally required to give you within five days. If you want no further contact from the collection agent, send them a cease and desist letter via certified mail.
Should they persist in calling or sending letters, see an attorney who can pursue legal action on your behalf. The FDCPA prohibits collection agencies from harassing consumers, and you can be compensated up to $1000 per violation. Know your rights, and never let a collection agency bully you, even if you do have a financial obligation.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:10-cv-01135-CMA-MJW, from United States District Court, District of Colorado.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against National Credit Adjusters LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.