With so many people living from paycheck to paycheck, all it can take is a job loss or expensive illness to send you spiraling deep into debt. It’s even worse when your accounts are turned over to a collection agency that harasses you for payment.
Don’t let yourself be bullied: when a debt collector gets too zealous, contact a consumer lawyer.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from being harassed and humiliated by third-party debt collectors. It penalizes collection agencies that use actions like the following to settle a debt.
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the your time zone
- Discussing the debt with anyone but you, your spouse, your lawyer, and any debt co-signers (if applicable)
- Using profane or obscene language
- Contacting you after you have formally requested that all communications cease
- Contacting you after you have sent a cease and desist letter
- Refusing to provide proof that you owe a debt and they are authorized to collect it
Company Profile: Weinstein & Riley
If you are being called by Weinstein & Riley, information about the company is below.
Weinstein & Riley is a debt collection law office located in Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1985 has less than 10 employees, and is managed by President, William Weinstein.
According to court files retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, several consumers who believed they were being harassed by Weinstein & Riley hired their own lawyers to counteract the firm’s claims.
Alleged Violations against Weinstein & Riley
According to PACER, on and after May 1, 2006 Weinstein & Riley sent a collection letter to a Connecticut man regarding an overdue MBNA account. However, this debt had been discharged the previous February in a Chapter 7 filing.
Feeling harassed by Weinstein & Riley, he hired a consumer lawyer and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Contacting him directly although he was represented by a bankruptcy lawyer
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire a Lawyer
The phone numbers for this law office are:
If either one appears on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Weinstein & Riley. If they demand payment for a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy, hire a consumer lawyer.
If you decide to file a claim against Weinstein & Riley, you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation in addition to applicable damages and costs. When it comes to consumer rights, even debt collection lawyers must obey the law or face consequences.
Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:06-cv-01306-MRK from the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
*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 Weinstein & Riley, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.