Is Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Are you being pursued by a debt collection agency? You’re not alone. According to a study by the Urban Institute, over a third of American adults have an average of $5,000 in collections. The important thing to remember is that even if you actually owe the debt, you have rights that prevent collection agents from bullying you to settle it.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Debt collectors can be persistent and blunt when trying to collect a debt from you, but you don’t have to tolerate abuse. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits third-party debt collectors from using pressure tactics like the following to collect a debt from you:
- Shouting and using profanities
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening to garnish your wages or send you to jail if you don’t pay
- Calling you at work after you tell them that your employer doesn’t allow such calls
- Refusing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Failing to report to the credit bureaus that a debt is in dispute
Company Profile: Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc
Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc is a collection agency located in Jackson, Mississippi. It was established in 1997, has over 60 collections professionals that pursue debt in 33 states, and is managed by Tommy Smith, Chief Executive Officer. Files archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA while attempting to collect certain debts.
Alleged Violations against Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc
Marquetta Loper vs. Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc
According to PACER, in November 2010, Mississippi resident Marquetta Loper started getting calls from Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc agents, who were attempting to collect an alleged debt owed for medical services received. One collector allegedly called her on February 10, 2011, and informed her that if payment was not made by 5:00pm, the company would garnish her wages.
Ms. Loper hired a consumer attorney and sued Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct
- Causing a phone to ring repeatedly and engaging her in annoying and harassing telephone conversations
- Threatening to take legal action, without actually intending to do so
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Debt Collection Attorney
The phone numbers for Smith Rouchon & Associates, Inc are 1-601-355-5456 and 1-601-960-4103. If your phone rings and either number appears on your caller ID, you have a debt that has been sent to collections. If they call you at inconvenient times and threaten to garnish your wages if you don’t pay, hire a consumer attorney.
This type of harassment is against the law when used to pressure debt payments out of you, and your attorney can help you take the matter to court. You could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. The FDCPA grants you certain rights that debt collectors ignore at their own professional risk.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:11-cv-00214-WHB-LRA from United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson 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 Smith Rouchon & Associates, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.