Are you being called by Southern Tier Credit Center?* Here's what you need to know.
When you are being pursued by debt collectors who show absolutely no respect for you, it can be hard to weigh your options. Should you declare bankruptcy to make them stop harassing you? While this may be a solution to your debt situation, you have less drastic ways of making the collection agencies cease their pursuit.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from being manipulated or harassed into bankruptcy by third-party collection agencies. It governs what these companies can say or do during the debt collection process, and prohibits actions like those below.
- Using profane or obscene language
- Discussing your debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your employer doesn’t allow such calls
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Demanding amounts that are inflated by ‘service charges’
- Calling you several times per day using an autodialer
Company Profile: Southern Tier Credit Center
If you are being called by Southern Tier Credit Center, information about the company is below.
Southern Tier Credit Center is a debt collection company located in Hornell, New York. It was established in 1986, has approximately 12 employees, and is managed by its President, Kathleen Smith. The company uses the Shults and Shults law firm of Hornell, New York, whenever it decides to file a lawsuit to collect a debt. Litigation records available for public viewing at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Southern Tier Credit Center stood up for themselves by spending their money on an attorney instead.
Alleged Violations against Southern Tier Credit Center
According to PACER, in or around early 2010 a Pennsylvania resident checked his credit report and discovered that Southern Tier Credit Center had reported a delinquent medical debt. He disputed the debt immediately, and later claimed that the agency never sent him a debt validation letter, so the matter was a complete surprise to him. When he checked his credit report again, Mr. Bliss saw that Southern Tier Credit Center failed to report the debt as disputed.
Feeling harassed by Southern Tier Credit Center, he hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Failing to send him a debt validation letter
- Failing to report the debt as disputed to the credit bureaus
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are as follows:
If either one of them appear on your caller ID whenever the phone rings, it means that you are being called by Southern Tier Credit Center. If they fail or refuse to either send you a debt validation letter or notify the credit bureaus when you dispute a debt, hire a consumer attorney who can help you assert your rights in court. If you file a claim against Southern Tier Credit Center, you may be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation in addition to the costs you incurred while pursuing the action. Awards like these remind collection agencies that when they disregard consumer rights, penalties result.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:10-cv-00471-JEJ from the United States District Court for the Middle 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 Credit Center, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.