Are you being called by Robinson & Associates?* Here's what you need to know.
Debt collectors can be rude and intense when it comes to getting your money. They will call you repeatedly and threaten to sue you or destroy your credit if you don’t pay immediately and in full. When this happens, it is important to stand firm and know your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to stop third-party debt collectors from abusing indebted consumers. Since then, it has been illegal to use tactics like those below to collect a consumer debt.
- Swearing, raising their voice, and making threats they have no intention of carrying out
- Discussing the debt with your family, friends, and co-workers
- Pretending to be attorneys, police officers, or federal agents
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that you aren’t allowed to talk to them there
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
Company Profile: Robinson & Associates
Robinson & Associates is a debt collection agency located in Los Angeles, California. It was established in 1964, has 10-19 employees, and is managed by its President, Michael Alex. Litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Robinson & Associates have asserted their rights by fighting back in court.
Alleged Violations against Robinson & Associates
According to PACER, sometime before November 2013, a California resident allegedly became delinquent in her payments for an online educational resource. On or about November 26, 2013, Robinson & Associates sent her a collection letter at her place of employment. The letter, which was opened and read by her coworker, clearly stated that it was regarding a debt and stated in part:
"Please be advised that ROBINSON & ASSOCIATES intends to file a legal action against you in the Superior Court of the Judicial District having jurisdiction over the matter, to enforce the collection of the above claim. Please be further advised that unless payment in full is received with in ten (10) days from the date of this letter, we intend to institute said action in the aforesaid court, and said action may result in a judgment against you, including an award of costs for filing fees and service of process."
She was embarrassed and humiliated when she learned about the letter, as well as fearful that she would lose her job as a substitute teacher.
On December 9, 2013, Robinson & Associates filed a civil court case against her in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She lived in Santa Barbara County and never signed a contract for the alleged debt in Los Angeles County, so the case was filed in the wrong venue. Feeling harassed by Robinson & Associates, she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive or misleading means to collect a debt
- Sending the collection letter to an address where a third party was likely to read it
- Filing a civil case against her in the wrong venue
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Robinson & Associates are:
If either number appears on your caller ID, be aware that you are being called by Robinson & Associates. If they use aggressive and unethical collection attempts that violate the FDCPA, hire a consumer attorney. If you file a claim against Robinson & Associates and win, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Don’t tolerate abusive behavior: the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:14-cv-02852-MMM-JPR from the United States District Court for the Central 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 Robinson & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.