When you fall behind in your bill payments and the accounts are turned over to a third-party debt collector, your problems can intensify, especially if the collector is rude and abusive. At such a stressful time, it’s easy to forget that you have rights and protections under the law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers against unethical debt collection practices. Under this law, actions like the following are illegal when committed during a debt collection attempt.
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
- Using the phone to harass you by calling nonstop or using an autodialer
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Talking about the debt to anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Contacting you after you have sent a cease and desist letter
- Using profane and obscene language
Company Profile: Southern Service Systems, Inc.
If you are being called by Southern Service Systems, Inc., information about the company is below.
Southern Service Systems, Inc. is a debt collection company located in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was established in 1981, has approximately 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Buddy Tackett. It also has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that several consumers who believed they were being harassed by Southern Service Systems, Inc. fought back in court.
Alleged Violations against Southern Service Systems, Inc.
According to PACER, in December 2012 an Arkansas resident spoke on the phone with Southern Service Systems, Inc. regarding a debt it was trying to collect from him. He agreed to provide his bank account information so that the company could take a one-time postdated payment on December 21, 2012, which was his pay date.
Although he specified that the payment was to be debited on that day, Southern Service Systems, Inc. allegedly presented the postdated payment for deposit on December 17. When the payment failed to go through, the agency allegedly began calling him.
Feeling harassed by Southern Service Systems, Inc., the plaintiff hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Collecting funds despite having no lawful authority to do so
- Collecting a postdated payment prior to the agreed-upon date
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for this collection agency is 1-501-225-3802. If it appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by Southern Service Systems, Inc.. If they try to cash a postdated payment prior to the agreed-upon date, hire a consumer attorney.
If you file a claim against Southern Service Systems, Inc. and win, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Owing money does not make you a target of deception or abuse, so see an attorney and assert your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 4:13-cv-00300-SWW from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Pine Bluff 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 Service Systems, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.