Is United Recovery Systems calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
If you owe money and your heart races every time the phone rings, chances are that debt collectors are finally getting to you. For a lot of these agencies, the goal is to stress you out so much that you finally agree to payment or settlement arrangements that are neither practical nor sustainable for you.
Don’t let debt collectors harass you to the point that your health suffers and your finances fall into greater jeopardy. As a consumer who owes money, you have rights that you may not even be aware of.
Third-party debt collectors or collection agencies are limited in their methods by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal law, which was passed in 1977 amid growing concerns that unethical debt collection was propelling a rise in personal bankruptcies, makes it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use tactics like the following when collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Pretending to be attorneys, police officers, or federal agents to intimidate you into paying
- Calling from “unknown” numbers or leaving voice messages that do not identify the collector, the company they work for, and the purpose of their call
- Discussing the debt with your relatives (with the possible exception of your spouse), neighbors, and co-workers
- Cursing, raising their voice, and making threats
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Refusing or failing to validate a debt
- Calling you at work when they know your boss doesn’t allow you to take personal calls
Unethical debt collectors remain such a problem that the Federal Trade Commission now publishes a list of banned debt collectors, along with their alleged misdeeds.
United Recovery Systems is a Texas-based debt collector with branch offices in Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. It was established in 1977, has over 1,000 employees, and specializes in most types of consumer personal debt. According to records retained by PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) United Recovery Systems has frequently been taken to court for violating the FDCPA during its collection activities.
Ivette Velez v. United Recovery Systems
Beginning in or around February 2015 and continuing throughout the following March, New Jersey resident Ivette Velez received a series of calls to her cell phone, all of them allegedly from United Recovery Systems attempting to collect an alleged debt. Ms. Velez contacted a consumer attorney, complaining that she had never been sent a debt validation notice and the calls were annoying and harassing in tone.
The complaint she filed with the US District Court accused United Recovery Systems and its agents of the following FDCPA violations:
- Placing continuous and harassing calls to Ms. Velez (§ 1692d)
- Calling her constantly for the sole purpose of annoying her ( § 1692d(5))
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt ( § 1692f)
- Failing to send a debt validation letter within five days of the initial communication (§ 1692g(a))
The matter was later dismissed.
If the numbers 1-800-568-0399, 1-713-977-1234, or 1-267-352-3277 appear on your caller ID, United Recovery Systems is trying to contact you to collect an alleged debt. They are not permitted to call you non-stop and fail to send a debt verification letter, so if your rights are infringed on in these (and any other) ways, make an appointment to see a consumer attorney.
Once you have legal representation, United Recovery Systems is no longer permitted to contact you directly. If the harassment continues, you can take them to court and be compensated at the rate of $1,000 per FDCPA violation. Your attorney will help you present your case and ensure that your rights are protected the entire time.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:15-cv-03637-NLH-KMW, from United States District Court for the 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 United Recovery Systems, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.