Are you being called by Stenger & Stenger?* Here's what you need to know.
If you are so deep in debt that your credit cards, student loans, and other obligations have gone into arrears, sooner or later debt collectors will start to call and demand payment. They will keep calling, as they have either been hired to get your money or have bought your debt and want to recoup their investment. Don’t let them bully you into unsupportable payment arrangements: you have the right to tell them to back off.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from harassment by third-party debt collectors. This consumer protection law makes it illegal for these collection agencies to use methods like those below to collect money.
- Use profane or obscene language
- Use an autodialer to leave a series of pre-recorded messages
- Call you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threaten legal actions that they have no intention of taking
- Trying to collect amounts that are not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: Stenger & Stenger
If you are being called by Stenger & Stenger, information about the firm is below.
Stenger & Stenger is a debt collection law firm located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was established in 1994, has 76 employees, and is managed by its President, Phillip Stenger. Litigation filed retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that consumers who felt they were being harassed by Stenger & Stenger reacted by hiring their own attorneys and meeting the firm’s demands in court.
Alleged Violations against Stenger & Stenger
According to PACER, on January 26, 2006, Borg Financial LLC and Stenger & Stenger filed a lawsuit against an Indiana resident to collect a delinquent CitiFinancial debt that Borg had purchased. When she missed one court appearance, a default judgment of $3,570 was entered against her in the Small Claims Lawsuit.
Although she was only employed part-time, she made several voluntary payments on the judgment that totaled $300. Then, on or about March 2009, allegedly without obtaining court approval, Borg Financial LLC and Stenger & Stenger sent her employer a copy of a purported garnishment order and obtained money from her paycheck sufficient to pay the judgment.
Contrary to the practice and procedure for the small claims lawsuit, the purported order directed that the garnished money be remitted directly to them, rather than to the court. When the Indiana resident and her employer called Borg Financial LLC and Stenger & Stenger to confirm that the judgment was almost paid and determine when and how the garnishment could be terminated, they learned that no garnishment had ever been issued.
Feeling harassed by Stenger & Stenger, the Indiana resident hired a consumer attorney and sued the firm for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for Stenger & Stenger is 1-616-940 1190. If this number appears on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Stenger & Stenger, likely about a debt they have been assigned to collect. If they garnish your wages without proper court authority, hire a consumer attorney who can help you fight back in court. If you file a claim against Stenger & Stenger and win, you could potentially receive $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never back down from an unscrupulous debt collector: fighting back can pay off.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:10-cv-00160-SEB-TAB from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis 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 Stenger & Stenger, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.