If you are in debt, you’re one of millions of people in the same position. No matter how much you owe, collection agencies must observe state and federal laws when collecting it, or risk being subjected to major financial penalties.
They won’t tell you that, however. They would prefer you not realize that you have rights in these cases.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires third-party debt collectors to behave ethically when collecting overdue accounts from consumers. If you are dealing with a collection agency that behaves in the following ways, they have broken the law and you can take action.
- Demanding more than you actually owe
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Failing to report a debt as disputed to the credit bureaus
- Calling you at work if they know what such calls are not allowed
- Ignoring a written cease communications request
- Refusing to validate the debt
Company Profile: Szabo Associates, Inc.
If you are being called by Szabo Associates, Inc., here are some additional details about the agency and its history.
Szabo Associates, Inc. is a collection agency located in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1971, has 50 employees, and is managed by its President, Robin Szabo. According to the company website, it is the first and largest collection service specializing in debt collection for the media and related industries.
The PACER website holds records indicating that consumers who felt they were harassed by Szabo Associates, Inc. sued the company to claim damages.
Alleged Violations against Szabo Associates, Inc.
According to PACER, on or about May 12, 2016, Szabo Associates, Inc. called a California consumer to collect an overdue National Funding Loan. The consumer said that the loan did not belong to him: it had been incurred as a result of identity theft.
This was allegedly the first communication from Szabo Associates, Inc.: according to the consumer, he never received a validation letter within five days.
The consumer’s attorney contacted Szabo Associates, Inc. on or about August 29, 2016, sending a letter explaining that the National Funding Loan was fraudulent, that they must cease all collections efforts, and to direct all further communication to the attorney.
This communication included a copy of the police report.
Despite receipt of this letter, Szabo Associates, Inc. allegedly called the consumer directly on November 5 to collect the debt. Another call allegedly followed on November 17, this one at 7:05 a.m.
Feeling harassed by Szabo Associates, Inc., the consumer filed an FDCPA lawsuit against the agency for the following violations of his rights:
- Calling at an inconvenient time and place
- Calling him directly although he had an attorney
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone number for this collection agency is 1-404-266-2464. If you see it on your caller ID, Szabo Associates, Inc. is calling. If they call you at unreasonable hours and keep contacting you instead of your attorney, act on your rights and file a claim against Szabo Associates, Inc.
Don’t be intimidated by a collection agency that breaks the law: file a lawsuit that can get you the compensation you deserve.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 8:17-cv-00238-JLS-DFM from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Southern 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 Szabo Associates, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.