Is Professional Recovery Services, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
In September 1977 the US Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) after debt collection harassment was connected to a rise in personal bankruptcies, marital breakdowns, and other problems.
This new federal law granted consumers the right to dispute a debt and order the collector to stop calling them, while at the same time placing limits on what debt collectors could say and do to those who owed money.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The FDCPA prohibits third-party debt collectors from using the following tricks and tactics to collect or attempt to collect a debt:
- Calling at unreasonable and inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Calling someone at their place of employment when they have already been advised that the employer does not allow such calls
- Swearing and shouting
- Telling someone they can arrested or imprisoned for nonpayment of a debt, in an attempt to scare them into paying
- Presenting themselves as anyone except a debt collector attempting to collect a debt
- Discussing the debt with anyone except the consumer, their spouse, or their attorney
Some debt collectors persist in using these and other unethical (and illegal) means to collect money because consumers, unaware of their rights, yield to the harassment and pay up.
Professional Recovery Services, Inc. was established in 1990 and is headquartered in Voorhees Township, New Jersey. According to the company profile on Manta.com, its employee count is in the 100 to 249 range. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website at pacer.gov indicates thatProfessional Recovery Services, Inc. has frequently be accused of violating the FDCPA during its pursuit of debt payments.
Alleged FDCPA Violations
According to PACER, in or around 2010, a Florida resident started receiving constant and continuous collection calls from Professional Recovery Services, Inc. agents seeking and demanding payment for an alleged debt.
She later insisted that the collectors placed several calls to her on a daily basis, using multiple numbers including some that showed as as “unknown” on her caller ID. Whenever messages were left, the debt collectors allegedly failed to identify the company they represented. Calls were also allegedly made to her boyfriend’s cell phone.
The complaint that she filed accused Professional Recovery Services, Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting third parties in connection with the collection of a debt (§1692c(b))
- Engaging in conduct that Ms. Espinal found oppressive and abusive (§1692d)
- Causing her telephone to ring with the intent to annoy or harass her (§1692d(5))
- Placing telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the company’s identity (§1692d(6))
- Using deceptive and/or misleading means in connection with the collection of the alleged debt (§1692e)
- Using false representations to collect a debt (§1692e(10))
The matter was later settled.
The phone numbers for Professional Recovery Services, Inc. are 1-866-302-1102 and 1-856-770-9500. If either number shows up on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is attempting to contact you regarding an alleged debt. Should they call you frequently and fail to identify themselves and the company they work for, contact a consumer attorney with experience in FDCPA matters.
If the problems persist and you decide to take Professional Recovery Services, Inc. to court, your attorney can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to, which includes $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Debt collectors must respect the law when dealing with consumers who owe money, and these penalties are a firm reminder.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:10-cv-00131-TJC-TEM, from United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville 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 Professional Recovery Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.