Is Vengroff Williams calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Being pursued by a debt collector is a stressful experience, even when the collector is comparatively civil. When they aren’t, you typically face a nightmare of aggressively worded letters, intrusive calls, and even details of your debt being shared with your friends and family. If this happens to you, don’t assume that you have to tolerate such abuse, because you don’t.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by Congress in September 1977 to stop third-party debt collectors from bullying indebted consumers into bankruptcy. This consumer protection law prohibits unethical collection tactics like the following:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer prohibits such calls
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening action they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking
- Demanding amounts that exceed the amount of the original debt
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Who Is Vengroff Williams?
Vengroff Williams, Inc. is a financial services firm and collection agency with offices in Sarasota, Florida, Anaheim, California, Hauppauge, New York, and Lincolnwood, Illinois. It was founded in 1963 and is managed by CEO Mark Vengroff. Based off of information in its Better Business Bureau profile***, Vengroff Williams, Inc.. is not accredited by the BBB and has had 66 complaints lodged against it in the last 3 years, 59 of which were complaints based on billing and collections. Customer reviews also reflect poorly on Vengroff Williams, with a 100% negative review rate.
According to files retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Vengroff Williams, Inc. has been sued by consumers who felt that their rights were infringed upon during the debt collection process.
Alleged Violations By Vengroff Williams, Inc.
Jared Beattie vs. Vengroff Williams, Inc.***
In or around early 2015, Washington resident Jared Beattie started receiving collection letters from Vengroff Williams, Inc.. He alleged that the letters included collection costs equaling approximately 35% of the total debt. The account had a principal balance of $248.51, and the agency added collection costs of $86.97.
When Mr. Beattie attempted to pay the alleged debt online with a credit card he discovered that a $3.00 fee was being assessed for the transaction. Feeling like he was being charged amounts that exceeded the original debt, he hired a consumer attorney and sued Vengroff Williams, Inc. for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading means to collect a debt
- Threatening legal action it did not intend to take
- Using unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Attempting to collect an amount not authorized by law or the creditor agreement
The matter was later dismissed.
How Can I Get Vengroff Williams to Stop Calling?
The phone numbers for Vengroff Williams, Inc. are:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to reach you. If Vengroff Williams, Inc. attempts to collect amounts that far exceed your original debt, hire a consumer attorney to help you fight back in court. You could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Never let a debt collector scare you into forgetting that you have rights, and that violating them can be expensive.
*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 Vengroff Williams, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
**Information taken from:
***Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:15-cv-05540-RBL from United States District Court, Western District of Washington