Is Springer Collections calling you? Here's what you need to know.
The last person anyone wants to take a call from is from a debt collector. Your life is already stressful, with accounts going into arrears and no relief in sight. If the debt collector is hostile, rude or manipulative, it’s tempting to resort to bankruptcy as a way out. The reality is that no matter how much you owe, collectors cannot bully or trick payments out of you. If they do, they might end up owing you money instead.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates what third-party debt collectors may say and do when attempting to collect a consumer debt. They are required to be professional and ethical at all times, and avoid using pressure tactics like the following:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work after you tell them that your boss doesn’t allow personal calls
- Persisting in trying to collect a disputed debt
- Threatening you with lawsuits that never happen
- Making threats they have no intention of carrying out, such as seizing your property or garnishing your wages
Company Profile: Springer Collections
Springer Collections is a collection agency located in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was founded in 1917 and, according to its website, the current staff includes eight debt collectors, six administrative support staff, two client service managers and an in-house attorney. According to records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Springer Collections has been accused of violating the FDCPA during its years in business.
Alleged Violations against Springer Collections
On or around August 14, 2014, a Minnesota resident was contacted by a Springer Collections agent who demanded payment for an alleged debt to an apartment complex. The plaintiff later said that she tried discussing a resolution, but after a few minutes, the collection agent started raising his voice and talking to her in a rude manner. When she asked for a supervisor, he allegedly replied that he was the supervisor and that there was no one else she could speak with.
Later that day, the plaintiff called Springer Collections back and spoke with Mr. Brad Cohen, who offered to settle the account for $660. She replied that she needed to think about it and would call back in a few days. When the plaintiff called back, she explained that she could not afford to pay that amount and offered 50% instead. She later claimed that the collector she spoke to accepted the offer, but it was later rejected by Mr. Cohen, who further stated that if she could pay $600 by the end of September, they would not report the account to the credit bureaus, but she subsequently learned that the account was already being reported.
The plaintiff hired an attorney and sued Springer Collections for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Failing to disclose itself as a debt collector in all communications
- Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, or abuse
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect the debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an FDCPA Attorney
The phone numbers for Springer Collections are 1-800-553-8988 and 1-651-772-3456. If either number appears on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is attempting to reach you. If the collectors raise their voice with you, make misleading settlement offers, or threaten legal action that never takes place, hire a consumer attorney.
These debt collection tactics are all illegal, and if you sue the company, a judge could award you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. For many debt collectors, consumer harassment can be a costly mistake.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number 0:14-cv-04501-MJD-TNL from United States District Court, District of Minnesota
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 Springer Collections, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.