Is North American Collectors, Inc calling you? You should know your rights!*
Most of us miss the occasional bill payment. For the most part, creditors are understanding and let us rectify such mistakes without penalty.
Any event that affects your financial well being can put you behind in your financial obligations, and that’s when things change.
Once a certain number of payments are missed, they will eventually be assigned to third-party debt collectors or charged-off and sold to junk debt buyers.
Dealing with collection agencies can be an exercise in stress and frustration.
While some will work with you to resolve your debt crisis, others will pursue you to the point of outright harassment.
This harassment does not need to be tolerated, and you have the law on your side.
In 1977, Congress enacted the FDCPA, which is a law designed to protect your rights against abuse by debt collectors.
The law makes it illegal for debt collectors to use unfair tactics like the following:
- Cursing, yelling, and making threats
- Calling multiple times per day, manually or using an autodialer
- Claiming to be police officers or federal agents
- Calling you at work after being told that such calls are prohibited by the employer
- Threatening legal actions they cannot take or have no intention of taking, such as having you imprisoned or seizing your assets
- Telling uninvolved third parties that you owe a debt
Alleged Violations against North American Collectors, Inc.*
Some debt collectors seem to deliberately disregard the FDCPA.
North American Collectors, Inc. is a collection agency located in Encino, California.
It was established in 1988, has a staff of 20 to 49 employees, and is a member of the American Collectors Association, DBA International and the California Association of Collectors.
Civil litigation records at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that North American Collectors, Inc. has been accused of collecting debts in a way that the FDCPA deems illegal.
In or around early 2012, a California resident allegedly started receiving collection calls from North American Collectors, Inc. about a personal debt.
She later complained that many of these calls were made to her workplace after she already stated that such calls were not permitted.
One collector allegedly told her, “Get a life”, among other things, and others allegedly left voicemail messages that did not identify them as debt collectors.
The plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and filed a lawsuit accusing North American Collectors, Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Calling her at inconvenient places and times
- Contacting her at work when she had already advised that such calls were not permitted
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct
- Using profane and obscene language
- Harassing her by telephone
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in every communication
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Failing to send her the required debt validation notice within five days of the first communication
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for North American Collectors, Inc. are 1-818-907-5770 and 1-800-370-4720. If either of these numbers shows up on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector may be trying trying to contact you about a debt it has been assigned to collect.
If they use abusive language, call you at work after you’ve told them not to, and use the phone to disrupt your daily life, contact a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA prohibits such unethical behavior, and if you decide to sue North American Collectors, Inc. with your attorney’s help, you could potentially receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
When owing a debt makes you a target of abuse, let the law help you fight back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:12-cv-01590-AWI-SAB, from United States District Court, Eastern District of California.
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 North American Collectors, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.