Is Shear Law Firm calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Debt collectors can be intense when it comes to getting money from you. Even though it is not in your best interests financially, they will pressure you into a payment arrangement or push you to borrow money in order to pay them. Sometimes they are civil about it, but other times they are not. They will call you constantly and threaten to sue if you don’t pay. When this happens, it is important to stay firm and know your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was established in 1977 to protect consumers from being abused by unethical third-party debt collectors. You can order the collector to stop contacting you and dispute the debt itself. The collectors must also refrain from using tactics like the following to intimidate consumers.
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using profane or obscene language
- 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
- Talking to uninvolved parties such as your friends, family, and co-workers about the debt
Company Profile: Shear Law Firm
Shear Law Firm, P.C. is a law firm located in Amherst, New York. It was established in 2007, includes debt collection in its practice range, and is headed by lead attorney Jason A. Shear. A search of files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that the Shear Law Firm has been accused in the past of violating consumer rights during the debt collections process.
Alleged Violations against Shear Law Firm
April McKinney vs. Jason A. Shear, Attorney at Law, et al
According to PACER, in or about October, 2007, the mother of Alabama resident April McKinney began receiving messages on her answering machine from the Shear Law Firm. The messages allegedly stated that it was Tony Trist of Shear Law and that he needed to speak with April immediately. He further allegedly stated that if this was not a good number, he did have numbers of family members and neighbors to call. Mr.Trist allegedly added that he had some options that he would like to discuss with Ms. McKinney out of court and that if they did not hear back from her that she would force their hand.
Ms. Kinney called and spoke to Tony Trist, who allegedly said that if she did not pay the debt by October 30, 2007 that it would go to court the following day. He allegedly told her that she was not allowed to make payments and that “they would probably hold (her) there in jail until the debt was paid in full.” He allegedly taunted Ms. McKinney by asking her how she could take care of her kids if she was not working.
On or about November 16, 2007, Chris Rogers, Ms. McKinney’s boyfriend, received a call from Tony Trist, who allegedly stated that he was trying to keep her from going to court, but a lawsuit would be filed against her if she did not contact him that day.
Distressed, April McKinney hired a consumer attorney and sued the Shear Law Firm and Tony Trist for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using abusive and harassing means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Creditor Harassment Attorney
The phone numbers for the Shear Law Firm are 1-877-247-6069 and 1-716-566-8988. If you see either number on your caller ID, the firm is calling about a debt you allegedly owe. If the representative is verbally abusive and threatens to send you to jail, hire a consumer attorney.
If you sue the Shear Law Firm for infringing on your rights, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. If debt collectors tries to threaten you, they could end up in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 5:08-cv-00605-SLB from United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern 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 Shear Law Firm, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.