When you lose your job or experience a financial setback like illness or divorce, paying your monthly bills can become impossible. Eventually, your accounts may be turned over to a collection agency, but if its collectors deride your inability to pay and threaten you, there are things you can do to make them stop.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
If a debt collector is trying to harass you into paying, they are breaking the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, gives you the right to tell them to stop contacting you and protects you from oppressive collection methods like those below.
- Demanding amounts inflated by ‘service charges’ and other miscellaneous fees
- Failing to report to the credit bureaus that a debt is in dispute
- Presenting themselves as attorneys (if they are not) or police officers
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Trying to collect after you have formally disputed a debt
- Using profane and obscene language
Company Profile: Online Information Service
If you are being called by Online Information Service, here is more information about the company.
Online Information Service, which also does business as online collections, is a debt collection agency located in Winterville, North Carolina.
It was established in 1954, has 140 employees on staff, and is managed by its President, John W. Blair. Lawsuit records indexed at the PACER website indicate that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Online Information Service acted on their right to seek compensation.
Alleged Violations against Online Information Service
According to PACER, on or about August 11, 2014, Online Information Service sent a collection letter to a New Jersey consumer. She claimed that the envelope came with a visible QR code that, when scanned, yielded information about her account.
Feeling harassed by Online Information Service, the consumer sued the collection agency for allegedly violating her rights by:
- Making information about her account visible
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see any of them on your caller ID at any time of the day or night, it means that you are being called by Online Information Service. If they send demand letters in an envelope that makes your personal information visible to unauthorized parties, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Online Information Service.
A judge could order the company to compensate you financially and cover your legal fees, so don’t hesitate to take action.
Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:14-cv-07553-MAS-TJB from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
*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 Online Information Service or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.