Is Stevens Business Service Calling You?* Here's what you need to know.
Debt collectors have one goal: to get a debt paid as quickly as possible. Their methods can often be ruthless, so it is important that you understand your rights as a consumer, as well as how to handle harassing calls and messages and ultimately make them stop.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
If a debt collector is hounding or harassing you, they’re breaking the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits actions like those below, any of which can result in fines or license revocation.
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling your friends, relatives, and neighbors and discussing your debt with them
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents
- Threatening legal action they have no intention of taking
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and will be arrested if you don’t pay
- Trying to collect an amount that is not authorized by law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: Stevens Business Service
Stevens Business Service is a debt collection agency located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1953, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its President, Thomas Varnum VIII. Files retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that the collection has been accused of FDCPA violations while collecting certain debts.
Alleged Violations against Stevens Business Service
In early 2013 a New York consumer received several voicemail messages on his cell phone that were allegedly placed by Stevens Business Service collectors. One such message, left on or about July 19, 2013, stated:
"Hello, this message is for [Plaintiff's Name]; [Plaintiff's Name], it is important that you call back today (at) 877-380-3753, reference number 3371565. My name is David Jones and I will be here until 8:30pm tonight to discuss this important personal business matter. We do look forward to speaking with you. Again, please call us back today. Thank you."
When the plaintiff realized that a collection agency was leaving these messages, he hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against Stevens Business Service for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Leaving messages that did not meaningfully disclose the caller‘s name or purpose of the call
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Stevens Business Service are:
If you see either number on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector is looking for you. If they leave voicemail messages that do not identify the caller as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt, hire an attorney. The FDCPA requires complete transparency in all communications meant to collect a debt, and Stevens Business Service could be ordered to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. You may owe a debt, but collecting it illegally can backfire.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:13-cv-07332-RRM-CLP from United States District Court for the Eastern 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 Stevens Business Service, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.