Is Southern Financial Systems, Inc calling you? Protect your rights!
If you lose your job or experience a serious financial setback, you may find your accounts being sent to collections even though you diligently paid your bills in the past.
When debt collectors start calling, don’t let them intimidate you into payment plans you can't afford or, worse, declaring bankruptcy. No matter how large your debt is, you have rights that include freedom from harassment.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, because ruthless and unethical debt collectors were driving so many indebted consumers to declare personal bankruptcy.
The FDCPA protects people from harassment by making it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use ruses like the following:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Demanding amounts that exceed the original debt
- Calling at all hours
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Refusing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Threatening to have you arrested, seize your home or garnish your wages
- Telling your friends, neighbors, and co-workers that you owe money
Company Profile: Southern Financial Systems, Inc
Southern Financial Systems, Inc is a collection agency located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Established in 1997, it has 10-19 employees, is a member of both the American Collector's Association and the Associated Collectors of Mississippi, and is managed by owner Kimberly Amacker.
Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Southern Financial Systems, Inc has been accused of FDCPA violations during its years in business.
Alleged Violations against Southern Financial Systems, Inc
According to PACER, in or around early 2010, a Mississippi resident allegedly started to receive calls from Southern Financial Systems, Inc about a debt that had been assigned to them for collection.
He later complained that in addition to calling him several times a week, collectors contacted him at his workplace despite knowing that his employer prohibited such calls. On many occasions they allegedly used an automatic dialler to call his number and failed to disclose the name of the agency they worked for.
During various conversations, Southern Financial Systems, Inc agents allegedly used rude and abusive language when speaking to the plaintiff, threatening to garnish his wages, sue him personally, and contact the corporate headquarters of his employer to notify that employer that he owed a debt.
At one point they allegedly told him that they “would do whatever they could in order to collect the debt.”
The plaintiff finally hired a consumer attorney and sued Southern Financial Systems, Inc for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Contacting him at a place and during a time known to be inconvenient for him
- Calling him at his place of employment, knowing that his employer prohibited such communications
- Using profane and abusive language
- Causing a phone to ring repeatedly and engaging the plaintiff in telephone conversations, with the intent to annoy and harass
- Placing calls without disclosing the identity of the debt collection agency
- Threatening him with garnishment if the debt was not paid
- Threatening to take legal action, without actually intending to do so
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt
- Failing to send a validation notice stating the amount of the debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for Southern Financial Systems, Inc is 1-601-268-2927. If it appears on your caller ID, a collection agency may be trying to reach you about a debt you allegedly owe.
If they contact you at inconvenient places and times, use profane language, and threaten you with legal action that never transpires, hire a consumer attorney.
If you decide to sue, you could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. No matter how much you may owe, Southern Financial Systems, Inc has to obey the law when collecting it, or face consequences.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:10-cv-00304-LG-RHW from United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern 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 Southern Financial Systems, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.