Even when the national economic outlook is strong, many people still struggle with their own economic crises. Over 35% of Americans have debt in collections, and not all agencies are civil or respectful when communicating with these consumers.
If you are trying to cope with a difficult debt load and a debt collector is making your life miserable because of it, contact a consumer lawyer who will help you protect your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to eliminate abusive debt collection practices. The FDCPA defines your rights, imposes guidelines under which debt collectors may communicate with you, and prescribes penalties for violations like those below.
- Swearing and using racist language
- Threatening to damage your reputation and credit rating
- Demanding amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Failing to identify themselves during each communication as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt
- Contacting you after you have formally requested that all communications cease
Company Profile: Universal Collection Services, Inc.
If you are being called by Universal Collection Services, Inc., below are some agency details.
Universal Collection Services, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Huntington Station, New York. It was opened for business in 1999, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Julie Potter.
An inspection of litigation files at the PACER website confirms that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Universal Collection Services, Inc. hired consumer lawyers to protect their rights in court.
Alleged Violations against Universal Collection Services, Inc.
According to PACER, in or around early 2016 Universal Collection Services, Inc. allegedly sent a collection letter to a New York consumer. She alleged that the letter did not identify the sender as a debt collector, which violates the FDCPA.
Feeling harassed by Universal Collection Services, Inc., the consumer hired a lawyer and sued the company allegedly violating her rights under the FDCPA by:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector in all communications
A judge awarded the consumer $6820 in statutory damages and attorney’s fees.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone number for Universal Collection Services, Inc. is 1-631-271-9691. If you see it on your caller ID at any time, it means that a debt collector is on the line. If they send you letters that appear as if the sender is an attorney or law enforcement officer instead of a debt collector, reach out to a consumer lawyer who can help you seek justice.
If you file a claim against Universal Collection Services, Inc. and win, the company may have to compensate you with $1000 per FDCPA violation plus any other applicable damages. Initiating court action yourself can result in a favorable outcome.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:16-cv-01530-LDW-AYS from the 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 Universal Collection Services, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.