Is Optio Solutions LLC calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Most of us owe some form of debt: a mortgage, car payments, credit card balances, medical bills. As long as we are earning an income to cover these obligations, the situation is manageable. But if we lose our job or experience an expensive personal crisis like a divorce, these minimum payments can quickly become unaffordable.
When debt collectors start calling and sending letters to collect the outstanding balances, an already-stressful situation can become more upsetting and embarrassing.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Legally, you don’t have to tolerate abusive conduct. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, gives you the right to tell collection agencies not to contact you any more. It also prohibits debt collectors from using tactics like those below while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Swearing and using profane language
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, and your attorney
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out or have no intention of carrying out
- Demanding amounts that exceed the original debt
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your boss doesn’t allow such calls
Although collection methods like these are illegal, many debt collectors persist in applying them because people become frightened and stressed enough to pay.
Optio Solutions LLC is a debt collection agency located in Petaluma, California. It was established in 2008, is a smaller agency with fewer than 10 employees, and is a member of the California Association of Collectors. Records at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Optio Solutions LLC has been accused of violating consumer rights during some debt collection attempts.
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Alleged FDCPA Violations
According to PACER, beginning on or about June 4, 2014, collectors from Optio Solutions LLC allegedly started calling a South Carolina resident on his cell phone. During one conversation, Optio’s representative, who identified herself as “Diana”, allegedly failed to disclose the name of her company and did not state that the call was for debt collection purposes.
“Diana” allegedly threatened the plaintiff by saying that if half of the debt were not paid within forty-eight hours, she would pursue “other alternatives.” He understood this to mean that the agency would take legal action against him, but no action was ever taken. The plaintiff later claimed that Diana also threatened to contact his former employer in an effort to collect the debt and did not send a debt validation notice of within five days of initial communication, as required law.
He hired a consumer attorney and sued Optio Solutions LLC for violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive conduct to collect a debt
- Using false and deceptive means
- Threatening legal action that was never taken
- Failing to send a debt validation notice
- Failing to identify each call as coming from a debt collector
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
The phone number for Optio Solutions LLC is 1-800-360-2827. If it appears on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is trying to contact you about an alleged debt. If agency collectors threaten legal action they have no intention of taking and fail to identify themselves properly in each communication, contact a consumer attorney.
Your attorney can help you assert your rights in court, and you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Any time a debt collector crosses the line with you, the FDCPA gives you the resources to fight back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is case 3:14-cv-03762-JFA from United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Columbia 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 Optio Solutions, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.