If you miss a few payments on your credit cards, medical bills, and other obligations, you’ll soon be hearing from a debt collector. If they are rude or belligerent, you don’t have to tolerate it, no matter how much you owe. Although they may contact you about the debt, there are certain lines debt collectors may not cross without major legal consequences.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, places restrictions what third-party debt collectors can say or do when trying to collect a debt from consumers. Collection methods like the following are illegal and can lead to fines and other consequences.
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Calling you at work after you tell them that you can’t talk to them there
- Using profane or obscene language
- Trying to collect amounts that exceed the original debt
- Discussing the debt with uninvolved third parties like your friends, family and neighbors
- Making threats they have no intention of following up on, such as seizing your house or having you arrested
Company Profile: Norman & Associates
Norman & Associates is a debt collection company located in Alpharetta, Georgia. It was established in 2001, has less than 10 employees. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that the company has been accused of using debt collection methods that violate the FDCPA.
Alleged Violations against Norman & Associates
According to PACER, an Illinois resident received a collection letter from Norman & Associates in or around November 2014. The letter, which was later submitted as an exhibit in a court action, stated in part:
You must be aware that this debt could be litigated through the courts and that a judgment could be obtained against you.
If Sherwin Williams-NSF DIVISION wishes to take this step, we will enlist the services of a local attorney with the recommendation that a lawsuit be filed immediately.
If you wish to avoid this unpleasant and costly action, you must contact me immediately to discuss this matter or send your payment full to the above address today.
The plaintiff responded to what she perceived as a threat by hiring a consumer attorney and suing Norman & Associates for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using unfair and deceptive means to collect a debt
- Threatening legal action it had no intention of taking
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Creditor Harassment Attorney
The phone numbers for Norman & Associates are:
If the phone rings and either of these numbers appear on your caller ID, it means that a collection agency is on the line. If they threaten you with legal action they have no intention of taking to scare you into paying, contact a consumer attorney. Threats and deception violate the FDCPA, and if you sue you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Stand up for yourself if a debt collector mistreats you, as the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case: 1:15-cv-02455 from the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 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 Norman & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.