When accident or illness leave you unable to work, keeping up with your monthly debts can become impossible. This already-stressful situation becomes worse when collection agencies assail us with rude and aggressive demands.
Be aware that if they become abusive, they’re breaking federal law and you can stand up for yourself.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 after unprecedented numbers of consumers declared bankruptcy to escape debt collector harassment. In addition to giving you the right to dispute a debt, it penalizes collection agencies that use strategies like those below to settle a debt.
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Pretending to be lawyers, police officers, or federal agents
- Failing to identify themselves during each communication as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt
- Using profane or obscene language
- Contacting you after you have formally requested that all communications cease
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer prohibits such calls
Company Profile: Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC
If you are being called by Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC, information about the company is below.
Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC is a debt collection law office located in Birmingham, Alabama. It opened for business in 1997, has approximately 56 employees, and is managed by its President, Ben Zarzaur.
According to digital court dockets retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, people who felt they were being harassed by Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC hired their own lawyers to protect their rights.
Alleged Violations against Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC
According to PACER, on or about September 1, 2010 Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC sent a collection letter to an Alabama man seeking payment for a debt that was allegedly time-barred by statute.
The last activity on the alleged account took place sometime on or before February 22, 2008 and a lawsuit was filed by Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC on or about April 24, 2011 despite Alabama’s three-year statute of limitations.
Feeling harassed by Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC, the man hired a consumer lawyer and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- 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 a Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection law office are as follows:
If either one shows up on your caller ID when the phone rings, you are being called by Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC, presumably about a debt you are believed to owe. If they file a lawsuit against you to collect a time-barred debt, contact a consumer lawyer.
If you file a claim against Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC and win, you could receive compensation of $1,000 per FDCPA violation in addition to lawyer fees and other legal costs. Don’t assume that you owe the money because a lawyer says so: hire your own counsel instead.
Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:11-cv-00579-CG-N from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Southern 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 Zarzaur and Schwartz, PC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.