Is Sagres Company calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Most Americans, at some point or another, will fall behind on one or more debt payments. Creditors can be pretty tolerant about the occasional slip-up, but if you lose your job or become unable to work and the arrears pile up, they are likely to turn your accounts over to a third-party debt collector.
The stress over not being able to pay your bills is bad enough, but dealing with collection agencies is much worse.
Because debt collectors are in business to make a profit off of people who owe money, they can get intense to the point of hostility. Repeat phone calls, swearing, threats of litigation, and blatant lies are among the many ways they try to get you to pay up.
Even though these tactics are illegal, debtors are often so stressed and terrorized that they never report the abuse.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, forbids debt collectors from practices like the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Using abusive and profane language
- Pretending to be federal agents or police officers who will arrest you if you don’t pay
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Calling you at work when your employer doesn’t allow it
- Telling your friends, family, and neighbors that you are in debt
The Sagres Company, Inc is a collection agency located in La Jolla, California. It was established in 1993 and engages in debt buying, selling, consulting, and collecting of charged-off receivables. Records viewed on the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) indicate that their collection methods occasionally land them in court for violating the FDCPA.
Alleged FDCPA Violations
According to PACER, on September 22, 2006, the Sagres Company, Inc allegedly bought from JP Morgan Chase Bank a loan account that had been paid in full over three years previously. In June 2008, Sagres allegedly sold, transferred and set over this account to Jackson Investments, Inc. to collect the debt from a Colorado resident whose name was on the account.
In 2010, the Colorado resident was served with a summons and complaint by Jackson Investments, Inc. in an attempt to collect the debt. This complaint alleged that he had defaulted on his loan and now owed over $4,400.
In May 2010, he contacted Jackson Investments, Inc. and informed them that the debt was invalid, as the amount owing had been paid in 2003. He also submitted all supporting documents. Jackson allegedly refused to acknowledge and/or review his evidence of payment and refused to dismiss the pending lawsuit.
He retained a consumer attorney and sued both Jackson Investments, Inc. and the Sagres Company, Inc. for violating the FDCPA in the following ways.
- Misrepresenting the character, amount, and legal status of the alleged debt by claiming that he owed money for a debt he had paid off in 2003 (15 U.S.C. § 1692 e(2)).
- Engaging in unfair practices by attempting to collect an amount not authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law: since the alleged debt was paid off in 2003, there was no authorized amount to collect (15 U.S.C. § 1692 f(1))
- Filing a baseless and frivolous lawsuit against the plaintiff and refusing to dismiss it although Jackson received proof that the debt had been paid off (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
- Suing the Colorado resident on a debt for which the statute of limitations had already passed (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
The matter was later settled.
If the number 1-858-334-4444 shows up on your caller ID, someone from the Sagres Company, Inc. is attempting to collect debt payments from you. If you know for a fact that the debt was paid off and the company persists in using its agents to sue you for the money, contact a consumer attorney who can help you fight the charge in court and sue the Sagres Company, Inc for illegal debt collection practices.
Under the FDCPA, you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per violation plus actual damages, court fees, and attorney costs. Sometimes debt collectors need this reminder that pursuit of money does not allow them to disregard the law.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:10-cv-02008-WDM-KMT, from United States District Court, District of Colorado
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 Sagres Company, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.