You may want to read this if you're getting harassing calls from Western Mercantile Agency.
When consumers fall behind on credit card payments, medical bills, and student loans, it’s a difficult situation made worse by calls from aggressive collection agencies. If you are contacted by such a company, remember that you have certain rights that include freedom from harassment.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires third-party debt collectors to be professional when communicating with consumers, so any abusive behavior is against the law. Below are some actions that can put a collection agency out of business.
- Demanding amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Calling you at work after they’ve been advised that such calls are not allowed
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling at all hours of the day and night
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
Company Profile: Western Mercantile Agency, Inc.
If you are being called by Western Mercantile Agency, Inc., information about the company is below.
Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. is a debt collection company located in Coos Bay, Oregon. It was established in 1932, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by its President, Patricia Webster.
It currently has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. Litigation records viewable at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website suggests that consumers who felt they were being harassed by Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. took the company to court to demand compensation.
Alleged Violations by Western Mercantile Agency, Inc.
Rochelle Herness vs. Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. et al**
According to PACER, on May 8, 2014 Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. sent a collection letter to Oregon resident Rochelle Herness. She responded by stating that the medical debt in question was past the statute of limitations and to stop contacting her.
On August 6, an attorney for the agency filed a collection lawsuit against her, demanding $9,091.83 plus 18% interest from June 26, 2007. The complaint also alleged that Ms. Herness owed Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. 50% of the amount assigned to them for collection.
Attached to the complaint was an un-redacted billing statement that disclosed her sensitive personal information.
The complaint was served on her at work on September 2, by giving a co-worker confidential information to pass on to Ms. Herness. The suit itself, however, was later dismissed.
Feeling harassed by Western Mercantile Agency, Inc., she hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using harassing and abusive means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for this debt collection agency is 1-541-267-7086. If it flashes on your caller ID when the phone rings, you are being called by Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. likely over a debt they are trying to collect from you.
If they harass you to pay a time-barred debt and file a stressful lawsuit only to suddenly have it dismissed, hire a consumer attorney who can help you file a claim against Western Mercantile Agency, Inc., You could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation if the case goes in your favor, so never tolerate mistreatment from a collection agency.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:15-cv-01475-JE from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon (Portland).
*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 Western Mercantile Agency, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.