Are you being called by SquareTwo Financial Corporation?* Here's what you need to know.
People who have fallen behind on paying their bills frequently report being harassed by debt collectors. Less scrupulous collection agencies often use ‘persuasion methods’ that are oppressive, distressing, and completely illegal. The good news is that you don’t have to tolerate it: you can use the law to protect your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive debt collectors. The FDCPA grants you the right to dispute a debt and tell third-party debt collectors to stop contacting you. It also prohibits the use of activities like those below when collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Calling at unreasonable and inconvenient hours
- Calling you at work if they know that the employer does not permit such calls
- Reporting false information to the credit bureaus
- Use profane or obscene language
- Call at inconvenient times, usually before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
- Demand amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: SquareTwo Financial Corporation
SquareTwo Financial Corporation is a debt collection agency located in Denver, Colorado. It was established in 1994, has 396 employees, and is managed by its CEO, Paul Larkins. The company was formerly known as Collect America, Ltd. and changed its name in December 2009. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that consumers who believed they were being harassed by SquareTwo Financial Corporation have sued the company to protect their rights.
Alleged Violations against SquareTwo Financial Corporation
According to PACER, on November 14, 2012, Mandarich Law Group LLP initiated a State Action against a California resident on behalf of SquareTwo Financial Corporation and CACH LLC (a debt buyer). The goal was to collect a delinquent Wells-Fargo account. A default judgment was originally entered against the plaintiff, but it was set aside and he was permitted to file an Answer.
Despite the judgment being vacated, SquareTwo Financial Corporation and its representatives lodged a Memorandum of Costs after Judgment on April 9, 2015 and served the plaintiff’s employer with a Wage Garnishment in or about June 2015. His attorney contacted the employer to advise that the garnishment was invalid, but the employer replied that he was required by law to enforce the garnishment unless it was validly revoked. Despite alleged assurances from SquareTwo Financial Corporation’s counsel that it would be, the Wage Garnishment was not revoked and more than $1,000.00 was withheld from the plaintiff’s paycheck.
Feeling harassed by SquareTwo Financial Corporation, the plaintiff sued the company for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using harassing and oppressive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Misrepresenting the legal status of the debt
- Threatening legal action that could not be taken
- Collecting an amount that was not expressly authorized by the agreement creating the alleged debt or permitted by law.
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for SquareTwo Financial Corporation are:
If either number appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by SquareTwo Financial Corporation. If they try to enforce an invalid Wage Garnishment Order to collect an alleged debt, hire a consumer attorney. If you opt to file a claim against SquareTwo Financial Corporation and a judge decides in your favor, you could be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Standing up for yourself could put a debt collector in debt to you instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 8:15-cv-01308-CJC-JCG from the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
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 SquareTwo Financial Corporation or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.