If a consumer feels that he or she is being harassed or mistreated by a third party collection agency, he or she may be entitled to receive damages under the FDCPA. FDCPA, which stands for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, was created by Congress in 1977. Its main objective is to protect individuals from abusive and unethical practices from collection agencies.
Collection agencies must follow a protocol of permissible and forbidden actions under this act. Among other things, a collection agency cannot contact third parties about a consumer’s debt, threaten of use profanity, or contact outside of certain hours. A collection agency must follow the law, send customers a written notice of debt, respect privacy and be honest.
West Asset Company is a world-wide debt collection agency. Founded in 1986, the company is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. There are 8 US locations, with offices in the UK and Singapore. They have 10,500 people employed as of June 2015. For 2014, they had annual revenue of 2.2 billion.
It is a branch of the West Corporation, which is a technology-based communications company. The website enables debtors to pay their accounts and to file a complaint. West Asset Company specializes in collection loans for businesses, including telecommunications, government and healthcare.
West Asset Company has a record of allegedly harassing clients. On websites such as Rip-Off Report and the Better Business Bureau, clients report receiving daily phone calls, even on Sunday. Phone calls from representatives are often reported as being early in morning and late in evening, which is a violation of FDCPA laws. Some representatives are being reported as not providing clients info on their debts. They have also been alleged to have made false allegations in regard to client accounts, and being abusive to clients, including use of profanity.
According to the FTC, in 2011, West Asset Management agreed to pay 2.8 Million as a civil penalty after the FTC filed suit against the agency, alleging that the collection agency repeatedly violated FDCPA regulations in the way they contacted clients. Thousands of clients had filed allegations that West Management had used abusive language, gave false information to clients, and did not heed written requests from clients to stop contacts.
The $2.8 Million was largest civil settlement that the FTC had obtained. The settlement also banned West Asset Management from using illegal practices to collect. The case was filed in Federal Court in the Northern District of Georgia.
If you believe West Asset Management has harassed you, you should contact a qualified FDCPA attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you file a lawsuit, defend you in court, and even get the phone calls to stop.
Bring all evidence that you have against the collection agency, including mail, recordings of telephone calls, etc. The attorney will tell you whether or not they believe that they can take the case on, and if they can, will provide recommendations of how to proceed.
*According to the Better Business Bureau Complaints (BBB)
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 West Asset Management, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.