Are you being called by Professional Credit Service?* Here's what you need to know
Many collection agencies will go to extreme lengths to collect a debt. They will threaten to freeze your bank accounts, call your employer’s payroll department, and send the sheriff around to evict you. What they don’t do is tell you that making these threats is illegal, and you can sue.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was established in 1977 to combat collection agencies that were harassing consumers into bankruptcy. This consumer protection law makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use methods like the following to collect a debt.
- Calling at inconvenient times, usually before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m
- Publicly posting details of a debt on social media and other public outlets
- Swearing, raising their voice, and making threats
- Telling you that you have broken the law and can go to jail
- Calling you at your workplace when they know that your employer doesn't permit you to take such calls
- Demanding outrageous ‘fees’ in addition to the original debt
Company Profile: Professional Credit Service
If you are being called by Professional Credit Service, information about the company is below.
Professional Credit Service is a debt collection company located in Vancouver, Washington with two branch offices in Oregon. It opened for business in 1933, has 20 employees and is managed by CEO Joe Hawes. Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that many people who felt they were being harassed by Professional Credit Service refused to be bullied and fought back.
Alleged Violations against Professional Credit Service
According to PACER, on or about October 15, 2015, Professional Credit Service sent a collection letter to a California resident. The letter stated in part:
This letter is to notify you that we will seek authorization from our client to file a lawsuit to collect this past due balance. . . .If we file a lawsuit, you may be required to pay our court costs in addition to the amount due.
She took the statement to mean that she would be liable for court costs if a lawsuit was filed against her, when in reality court costs awards are only awarded to the prevailing party.
Feeling harassed by Professional Credit Service, she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Threatening actions that could not legally be taken
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are:
If any of these numbers flash on your caller ID in response to an incoming call, it means that you are being called by Professional Credit Service. If they threaten legal consequences that have no basis in actual fact, hire a consumer attorney. Harassing consumers in this way is illegal, and if you file a claim against Professional Credit Service, a judge may award you $1,000 per FDCPA violation in addition to court costs and attorney fees. Before believing what a collection agency threatens, see an attorney.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 5:16-cv-01039-ODW-DTB from the United States District Court for the District of California.
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 Professional Credit Service, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.