Are you being called by the Underwood Law Firm?* Here’s what you need to know.
You’ve been trying to pay your debts, but since you lost your job, it’s been nearly impossible. Now debt collectors are calling you every day and threatening to send you to jail, garnish your wages, or send the sheriff over to seize your home. Is there anything you can do to make it stop?
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA prohibits unethical debt collection practices. It regulates what debt collectors may say or do while communicating with indebted consumers. Practices like those below are illegal and could result in major sanctions.
- Raising their voice and making threats they have no intention of following up on
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, attorney and any co-signers
- Threatening legal action they cannot take, such as having you arrested and seizing your assets
- Demanding outrageous amounts that exceed the amount of the original debt
- Telling your friends, coworkers, and neighbors that they’re trying to collect a debt from you
- Threatening to damage your reputation and credit rating
Company Profile: the Underwood Law Firm
If you are being called by the Underwood Law Firm, information about the firm is below.
The Underwood Law Firm is a debt collection firm located in St. Louis, Missouri. It was established in 1980, has 20 to 49 employees, and is managed by its owner, Gary R. Underwood. The firm is also a member of the American Collection Association and the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that consumers who believed they were being harassed by the Underwood Law Firm hired their own attorneys and fought back in court.
Alleged Violations against the Underwood Law Firm
Michelle McDade vs. the Underwood Law Firm*
According to PACER, in and around 2013 the Underwood Law Firm began contacting Michigan resident Michelle McDade to collect a US Bank debt. On or about May 30, 2013, a collector called her parents’ house and left a message disclosing they were a debt collector attempting to collect a debt allegedly owed by Michelle. Ms. McDade did not live with her parents and was upset at this personal disclosure.
Feeling harassed by the Underwood Law Firm, Ms. McDade hired a consumer attorney and sued the firm for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Discussing her debt with uninvolved third parties
- Using harassing, oppressive, or abusive means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for the Underwood Law Firm is 1-314-621-4940. If it appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by the Underwood Law Firm. If they reveal circumstances of your debt to a third party, hire a consumer attorney. Such conduct violates the FDCPA, and if you file a claim against the Underwood Law Firm with your attorney’s help and win, you could potentially receive $1,000 per violation as well as attorney’s fees, court costs, and any actual damages. A good consumer attorney will be your advocate as you fight to assert your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:13-cv-12658-PDB-MKM from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, 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 the Underwood Law Firm, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.