How to Protect Your Rights
Getting and using credit is practically required in today’s society. To get a home or car, you essentially have to get into debt.
While credit enables us to acquire important items up front and pay for them in installments, it also has the potential to ruin someone financially if they lose their jobs or are otherwise unable to make the minimum payments.
When debt collectors start calling and leaving rude, pushy messages, the American Dream can swiftly become a nightmare, unless you know your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Although debt collectors may legally request payment for any legitimate debt assigned to them, they are not permitted to use deception or pressure tactics like the following:
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Using profane or obscene language
- Trying to collect more than the law and / or the original creditor agreement allow
- Ignoring a written cease communications request
- Talking to anyone except the consumer, their spouse, or their attorney about the debt
- Threatening consequences that they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking
Company Profile: Trojan Professional Services, Inc
Professional Services Inc is a collection agency headquartered in Los Alamitos, California. It was established in 1989, has 81 employees, and is managed by CEO Mark Dunn.
Litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveal that Trojan Professional Services Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA while trying to collect consumer debts.
Alleged Violations by Trojan Professional Services, Inc
Barbara A. Santoro-Wanek, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated vs. Trojan Professional Services Inc et al
In June 2010 New Jersey resident Barbara Santoro-Wanek received a collection letter from Trojan Professional Services Inc.
It demanded payment of a debt in the amount of $1,723.00, allegedly owed to Doctors Of Dental Medicine LLP.
The letter stated, in part:
WE DEMAND PAYMENT TO YOUR CREDITOR OF THE BALANCE DUE. IF YOU DO NOT PAY THE BALANCE DIRECTLY TO OUR CLIENT OR MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH OUR CLIENT TO PAY THE BALANCE IN FULL WITHIN 45 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS LETTER WE WILL CONSIDER....
Ms. Santoro-Wanek found the letter confusing. She believed that the language used overshadowed her right to dispute the debt and did not make it clear whether she should dispute the alleged debt directly with the original creditor or with Trojan Professional Services Inc, or both.
She promptly hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against the company for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false representation or deceptive means to collect the debt
- Using language which overshadowed the required notice informing her of her right to dispute the alleged debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Trojan Professional Services Inc are:
If your phone rings and any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector may be attempting to reach you. If they send you letters that overshadow your right to dispute the debt, hire a consumer attorney.
Such a lack of transparency violates the FDCPA, and if you take the matter to court, you could potentially receive $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
When collectors use methods that are arguably deceptive, the law is on your side.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 2:10-cv-05981-WHW-MCA from United States District Court, District of New Jersey
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 Trojan Professional Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.