Is Rubin and Rothman 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.
The FDCPA makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use 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.
Rubin & Rothman, LLC is a law office located in Islandia, New York. It advertises itself as a creditor’s rights firm for the states of New York and New Jersey. Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website at pacer.gov indicates that Rubin & Rothman, LLC has been summoned to court in the past for allegedly breaching the FDCPA during its dealings with consumers.
According to PACER, on or about August 18, 2011, Rubin & Rothman, LLC sent a debt collection letter to a consumer at his residence in Suffern, New York. According to the letter, the firm was seeking to collect an alleged obligation in the amount of $14,604.89.
The letter was unsigned and bore only the typed subscription, RUBIN & ROTHMAN, LLC. It stated in part, “At this time, no attorney with this firm has personally reviewed the personal circumstances of your account.”
He complained that this statement contradicted the message conveyed in the balance of the letter that the creditor had retained a law firm to collect the debt. The use of R&R letterhead created the suggestion of attorney involvement while simultaneously disclaiming any meaningful attorney review.
He sent a letter disputing the debt, but Rubin & Rothman, LLC allegedly failed to stop its collection activities. Instead, it filed suit against him in Rockland Superior Court, Index No. SU-2011-32546.
In response, the consumer filed a complaint that accused Rubin & Rothman, LLC of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- The collection letters misrepresented the degree of attorney involvement in the collection of the debt and misstated the amount the firm was legally entitled to collect (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Rubin & Rothman, LLC filed a lawsuit after receipt of a timely dispute and, prior to providing verification of the alleged debt, continued collection activity (U.S.C. § 1692g)
The matter was later settled.
If the numbers 1-631-234-1500 and 1-800-298-6058 appear on your caller ID, Rubin & Rothman, LLC are trying to collect a debt from you. If they send you collection letters that misrepresent the amount owed or imply attorney involvement that does not exist, consult a consumer attorney.
Any debt collector or firm that fails to observe the law while collecting a debt can be ordered to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. The FDCPA grants you rights and protections that you should never hesitate to use.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 2:12-cv-01409-LDW-GRB, from United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
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 Rubin & Rothman, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.