Most Americans carry personal debt these days. We owe money on credit cards, student loans, hospital accounts, and other obligations. As long as we enjoy a steady income, these debts are relatively easy to pay off over time. But if we lose our jobs or become unable to work, even the minimum payments can become impossible. It’s a difficult situation that gets even worse when debt collectors start calling.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or deceptive tactics to obtain debt payments. In general, they may not do any of the following:
- Use profane or obscene language
- Refuse to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking to collect a debt
- Use an autodialer to leave a slew of pre-recorded messages
- Call at inconvenient times, normally before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m., in the consumer’s time zone
- Call someone at work if they know what such calls are not allowed
- Disguise the fact that they are debt collectors trying to collect a debt
Company Profile: Network Collection Services
If you are being called by Network Collection Services, information about the company is below.
Network Collection Services is a third-party collection agency located in Houston, Texas. It was established in 1985, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its President, M G Anseman. Litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that several people who felt they were being harassed by Network Collection Services chose to fight the matter in court.
Alleged Violations against Network Collection Services
According to PACER, in or around April 2014, Network Collection Services began trying to collect a gym membership debt from a Texas resident. The plaintiff later asserted that he never received any validation of the alleged debt after the first communication.
On or about April 16, 2014, a Network Collection Services representative left him a voicemail that allegedly stated that, due to non-payment of the debt, legal action would be taken against him. The caller also allegedly claimed to be a mediator and the prosecuting attorney handling the matter.
Feeling harassed by Network Collection Services, the plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Threatening legal action it did not intend to take
- Implying that the voicemail was from an attorney’s office
- Failing to send a debt validation letter
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Using harassing, oppressive, and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone number for this collection agency is 1-713-414-7700. If it appears on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Network Collection Services. If they threaten groundless legal action and pretend to be attorneys to frighten you into paying, hire a consumer attorney who can help you file a claim against Network Collection Services. If you win your case, you could potentially receive $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Even if you do owe them money, debt collectors must obey the law while trying to collect it, or face an expensive penalty.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 4:14-cv-02189 from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
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 Network Collection Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.