Is World Financial Network National Bank calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Financial difficulties are stressful enough. But when an unscrupulous debt collector is calling you day and night and using collection methods of questionable legality, it makes matters even worse. You feel stressed and hunted, and if the amount they’re demanding is beyond your current means, bankruptcy starts to look like a real option.
When you’re stressed, it’s easy to forget that you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). They include the right to dispute a debt if you believe you do not owe the money and demand proof that a genuine debt exists. You are also allowed to tell third-party debt collectors not to contact you any more.
Debt collectors are legally required to abide by the FDCPA, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission and limits what they can say and do while collecting or attempting to collect a debt. Prohibited behaviors include the following:
- Calling you several times per day, and outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Telling your friends, family, and co-workers that you owe a debt
- Pretending to be police officers or government agents
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your boss doesn’t allow such calls
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out or have no intention of carrying out
Some debt collectors ignore the FDCPA, confident that you will be too embarrassed or unaware of your rights to report them.
Located in Wilmington, Delaware, World Financial Network National Bank (WFNNB) is the credit card banking subsidiary of Alliance Data Systems. Along with affiliate World Financial Capital Bank, WFNNB underwrites credit card accounts on behalf of over 85 companies, such as Redcats USA and L Brands. When these accounts go into arrears, WFNNB also oversees debt collection.
Court records viewable at Public Access to Court Electronic Records website (pacer.gov) indicate that World Financial Network National Bank has often been accused of illegal debt collection practices.
Brenda Garza v. World Financial Network National Bank
On June 29, 2011 Texas resident Brenda Garza received a call from World Financial Network National Bank debt collectors about an alleged credit card debt. She claimed that the representative left a voice message that failed to disclose that the call was from a debt collector seeking to collect a debt. The person leaving the message allegedly referred to himself as “Agent Brisbane” and made the following comments:
“I’ve made several attempts to contact you, Ms. Garza, but you have chosen not to return my calls, which leads me to believe this matter is not going to be resolved between you and I…. This will be my final attempt…. Have your attorney reach me.”
Ms. Garza hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint that accused World Financial Network National Bank of the following FDCPA violations:
- Using deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect the debt (15 U.S.C. 1692e(10))
- Placing calls without disclosing the identity of the debt collection agency (15 U.S.C. § 1692d (6))
- Failing to inform Ms. Garza that communications were an attempt to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e (11))
The matter was later settled.
The numbers for World Financial Network National Bank are 1-800-675-5685 and 1-614-729-4000. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to collect a credit card debt. If they leave messages that fail to identify them as a debt collector trying to collect a debt, or make statements that instill a false sense of urgency, contact a consumer attorney.
World Financial Network National Bank could be forced to pay you statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation, plus court costs and attorney’s fees, proving to all debt collectors that breaking the law comes at a price.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 4:11-cv-03533 from United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division
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 World Financial Network National Bank, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.