Is the Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Calls from debt collectors make us cringe. These communications mean that we’ve fallen behind in our debt payments and unless we can persuade the collector to accept a payment plan we can afford, a court date and wage garnishment could lie ahead. What makes the situation even more stressful is that in most instances, people find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, which was enacted in 1977, grants certain protections and rights to people who are being pursued by debt collectors. Under the law, third-party collection agencies may not use any of the methods below to collect debt payments from you.
- Fail to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking payment for a debt
- Use profane or obscene language
- Ignore a cease communications notice, which the FDCPA allows you to send
- Make legally insupportable threats, such as telling you they can have you arrested or jailed for nonpayment of the debt
- Call you at work after you’ve indicated that your employer prohibits such calls.
- Contact you at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Share details of the debt with uninvolved third parties, such as friends, coworkers, and neighbors
Alleged Violations against Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC*
Some debt collectors persist in using whatever tactics seem to work for them, no matter how upsetting or unethical.
Established in 2007, the Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC is located in Buffalo but collects consumer debts all over the country. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that this particular debt collector has been sued on a number of different occasions for alleged breaches of the FDCPA.
Jill Anderson v. Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC et al.
In late 2010, debt collectors from the Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC began calling Wisconsin resident Jill Anderson and her mother, Jean Muehlemann, in an attempt to collect a debt that Ms. Anderson allegedly owed. She demanded verbally and in writing that they stop contacting her until they provided her with a debt validation/verification letter. Ms. Anderson later claimed that they never provided her with debt validation or verification, but temporarily ceased calling.
On February 7, 2011 calls to Ms. Anderson and her mother resumed and allegedly continued on a daily basis via an automated dialer. In mid-February Ms. Anderson spoke Todd Gibney of the Law Office of Vincent P. Cignarale, who demanded her banking information in order to pay the debt. She advised Mr. Gibney that she was not going to pay anything until the firm provided her with written documentation identifying the debt. Mr. Gibney allegedly hung up on her.
Although they had Ms. Anderson’s address, cell and work numbers, firm representatives allegedly continued to call Mrs. Muehlemann, her mother. Mrs. Muehlemann asked Mr. Gibney to provide a mailing address so that she could send a cease/desist letter, but Mr. Gibney allegedly refused to provide one. The calls continued, most being messages demanding a return call. On one occasion, an unidentified person at the office advised Mrs. Muehlemann that she needed to “cooperate” and pay Ms. Anderson’s debt.
Ms. Anderson hired an attorney who drew up a complaint accusing the Law Office of Vincent P. Cignarale of the following FDCPA violations.
- Failing to provide her with written verification of the debt (15 U.S.C. 1692g)
- Continuing to call her daily or approximately daily with an automated dialer (15 U.S.C. 1692d)
- Contacting her mother when they already had contact information for her (15 U.S.C. 1692b(3))
A judge later ordered the Law Office of Vincent Cignarale, LLC, and Vincent Cignarale to pay Ms. Anderson $1,000 in statutory damages, $557.44 in costs and $6,407.50 in attorney’s fees.
If you receive a call from 1-866-878-5796 or 1-716-961-4230, someone from the Law Office of Vincent Cignarale, LLC is trying to collect payment on a debt. If they refuse to provide verification of the debt you allegedly owe, call you daily using an autodialer, or call uninvolved third parties when they already have your contact information, consult a consumer attorney. You could win statutory damages of up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as court costs and attorney fees if they fail to make their case.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:12-cv-00089-bbc from United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Law Office Of Vincent P Cignarale, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.