If you fall behind on your regular bill payments, you’ll eventually get calls from debt collectors. Their mission is to get you to pay the debt or make acceptable (for them) arrangements to pay. While collecting a debt is perfectly legal, harassing and threatening you in the process is not.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, a consumer protection law enacted in 1977 requires debt collectors to respect certain guidelines when collecting or attempting to collect debts from consumers. Below is a sample list of activities that are illegal under the FDCPA.
- Swearing, yelling, and calling you demeaning names
- Pretending to be police officers who will arrest you if you don’t pay
- Failing to identify themselves in every verbal or written communication as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Calling you outside the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m in your time zone
- Telling your friends and family that you owe money
- Ignoring you when you dispute the debt
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking
Too many debt collectors ignore the law in favor of following their own collection agendas. It doesn’t seem to faze them that they can be fined heavily or even banned by the Federal Trade Commission if they step out of line.
Company Profile: Vital Recovery Services, Inc.
A subsidiary of Vital Solutions, Inc., Vital Recovery Services, Inc is a third-party collection agency performing debt recovery for the following automobile finance, credit card, utilities, and real estate industries.
The agency, which was established in 2002, is located in Peachtree Corners, Georgia and has an employee count of 100 to 249. According to records on file at pacer.gov, Vital Recovery Services has been sued several times for allegedly using improper debt collection practices.
Alleged Violations against Vital Recovery Services, Inc.
Brian Edmond Bath v. Vital Recovery Services, Inc et al.
In August 2012 Colorado resident Brian Bath filed a complaint against Vital Recovery Services, Inc in the US District Court. He claimed that during the past year, he had been getting harassing phone calls about a debt that he was disputing.
Vital Recovery Services, Inc representatives allegedly told Mr. Bath that he had to pay the debt to get it off of the credit bureau reports, and that the agency would continue to report it until it was paid in full.
Mr. Bath later insisted that during many communications, the debt collectors did not disclose the identity of the debt collection agency from which they were calling or read him his ‘mini-Miranda’. He also stated that they never sent him a validation letter
The complaint he submitted via his consumer attorney accused Vital Recovery Services, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Causing the phone to ring repeatedly and engaging Mr. Bath in telephone conversations, with the intent to annoy and harass him (15 U.S.C. § 1692d (5))
- Placing calls without disclosing the identity of the debt collection agency (15 U.S.C. § 1692d (6))
- Misrepresenting the character, amount and legal status of the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e (2))
- Misleading Mr. Bath into believing that communications were from a law firm or an attorney (15 U.S.C. § 1692e (3))
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e (10))
- Failing to inform the Mr. Bath that communications were an attempt to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e (11))
- Failing to send him a validation notice stating the amount of the debt, the name of the original creditor, and the fact that he could dispute the debt within 30 days (15 U.S.C. § 1692g (a)(1)(2)(3)
- Continuing collection efforts even though the debt had not been validated (15 U.S.C. § 1692g (b))
The matter was later settled.
Hire An Attorney
The known phone numbers for Vital Recovery Services, Inc are:
- 1-800-797-6072, 797-6093
- 1-877-347-2082, 342-2082
- 1-678-578-1020, 578-2242, 578-1026, 579-2883
If it appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to collect a debt from you. The FDCPA dictates that they are not permitted to misrepresent themselves or the debt, contact you while the debt is in dispute, or make threats to ruin your credit if you don’t pay. If they do, contact a consumer attorney who can help you stand up for your rights.
If you take Vital Recovery Services, Inc and win, they can be ordered to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as attorney fees, court costs, and any actual damages. It’s an expensive reminder to all debt collectors that they ignore the law at their own risk.
The size and nature of your debt have nothing to do with how you should be treated as a human being. If third-party collectors are subjecting you to the type of harassment outlined in the FDCPA, you should consider completing a free case evaluation and filing a claim with the help of an FDCPA attorney.
Winning your claim could mean netting $1000 for each FDCPA violation, along with additional damages, and having an attorney increases the likelihood that you’ll have a successful claim.
Your attorney can aid in gathering evidence, arguing on your behalf, and knowing exactly what is required at each point in the case. In other words, your attorney will be in the best position to help you navigate this complex process and finally get the peace of mind that you deserve.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:12-cv-02215-RBJ-KMT, from United States District Court for the District of Colorado
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 Vital Recovery Services, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.