Are you being called by Stern & Stern, P.C.?* Here's what you need to know.
Are debt collectors calling you constantly and threatening to garnish your wages or seize your house if you don’t pay them immediately and in full? If so, you’re not the only one. Due to circumstances beyond their control, thousands of Americans have accounts currently in collections. If the agency tasked with collecting your debt blatantly mistreats you, be aware that it is breaking the law.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, because debt collectors were pursuing and threatening people into bankruptcy. This federal law protects consumers from harassment by making it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use collection tactics like the following:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling at all hours
- Refusing to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Calling someone at work if they know that the employer does not permit such calls
- Telling the person’s friends, neighbors, and co-workers that they owe money
- Demanding amounts not supported by the law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: Stern & Stern, P.C.
Stern & Stern, P.C. is a debt collection law office located in Bellmore, New York. It was established in 1993, has 10 - 19 employees, and is managed by its owner, Ken Stern. Litigation records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who felt harassed by Stern & Stern, P.C. have taken the firm to court for allegedly violating their rights.
Alleged Violations against Stern & Stern, P.C.
According to PACER, in September 2013, Stern & Stern, P.C. started trying to collect a debt from a New York resident. The letter was sent on firm letterhead and requested the sum of $1,910. The New York resident established MCU auto·pay from his paycheck of $100 every two weeks. When Stern & Stern, P.C. filed a summons and complaint the following December, they alleged a balance of $1,520 plus 9% interest as of October 31, although the New York resident's MCU records indicated a remaining balance of $1,320.
Feeling harassed by Stern & Stern, P.C., he hired a consumer attorney and sued the firm for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Misrepresenting the the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
- Threatening legal action the firm had no intention of taking
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive or misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for Stern & Stern, P.C. is 1-516-771-0710. If it appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, you are being called by Stern & Stern, P.C. If they file a lawsuit that alleges a different amount than you actually owe, hire a consumer attorney. If you choose to file a claim against Stern & Stern, P.C. and win your case, you could be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. When it comes to debt collecting, even law offices risk penalties if they go too far.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:14-cv-07756-JPO from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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 Stern & Stern, P.C. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.