Many collection agencies will go to extreme lengths to collect a debt. They will threaten to freeze your bank accounts, call your employer’s payroll department, and send the sheriff around to evict you. What they don’t do is tell you that making these threats is illegal, and you can sue.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a consumer protection law that regulates how third-party collection agencies can collect a consumer debt. Since 1977, when the law was passed by Congress, tactics like the following have been illegal.
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Contacting you directly even after you’ve hired an attorney to represent you in the matter
- Telling you that you have committed a crime like fraud and will be arrested
- Persisting in trying to collect a disputed debt
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
Company Profile: Southern Tier Agency, Inc.
If you are being called by Southern Tier Agency, Inc., more agency details are below.
Southern Tier Agency, Inc., which also does business as Check & Credit Reporting, Inc., is a debt collection agency in Depew, New York. It was established in 2000, has 21 employees, and has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. A review of consumer-driven lawsuits at the PACER website suggests that people who believed that they were being harassed by Southern Tier Agency, Inc. chose to stand their ground.
Alleged Violations against Southern Tier Agency, Inc.*
According to information on the PACER website, in or about July 2011, Southern Tier Agency, Inc. called a Pennsylvania consumer to collect a debt. She alleged that the collector told her that she must pay the full amount of the debt immediately, and if she failed to do so, she and her husband would be arrested. Frightened, she authorized the agency to debit $25 from her checking account.
The next day, Southern Tier Agency, Inc. allegedly contacted the consumer again and threatened that if she did not make an immediate payment on the debt, she and her husband would be incarcerated. The consumer also complained that throughout the following months of August, September, and October 2011, the agency continued to contact her, sometimes as many as seven times per day.
Feeling harassed by Southern Tier Agency, Inc., the consumer sued the company for:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt.
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for Southern Tier Agency, Inc. are:
If you see them at any time on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Southern Tier Agency, Inc. and should consult an attorney. If they threaten you with incarceration of you don’t pay a debt, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against Southern Tier Agency, Inc. You could receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus legal costs. The right legal counsel will help you take the steps needed to stop the harassment.
*Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:12-cv-03841-ER from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
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 Tier Agency, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.